Tennessee bathroom law sponsor now says it has penalties

Tim Rudd
Posted at 1:22 PM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 14:22:20-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The sponsor of Tennessee’s new law requiring businesses and government facilities to post signs if they let transgender people use the bathrooms of their choice now says those who refuse could face up to six months in jail.

Rep. Tim Rudd said this week that the misdemeanor penalty could apply. That seems to contradict what he told fellow lawmakers in March, when he said his bill “does not provide any fines or penalties at this point" when a committee passed what would become the final version.

He says he was telling the truth because the penalties weren't in the bill itself, but rather the existing building codes law.

Earlier this week, Nashville DA Glenn Funk said that his office will not enforce “transphobic or homophobic laws.” Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed the measure into law earlier this month.

The law is the first of its kind to be enacted in the United States. However, questions remain on how it will be enforced throughout the state.