NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit Friday challenging Tennessee’s first-of-its-kind law that requires businesses and government facilities to post signs if they let transgender people use multiperson public bathrooms or similar facilities of their choice.
The ACLU brought the lawsuit on behalf of Bob Bernstein, owner of Fido restaurant in Nashville, and Kye Sayers, owner of the Sanctuary Performing Arts venue in Chattanooga. The lawsuit alleges the requirement runs afoul of First Amendment protections and seeks to block it before it takes effect on July 1.
The law’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Tim Rudd, says the law is not discriminatory and doesn’t limit businesses on which facilities they can let people use.
Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk has said that his office will not enforce “transphobic or homophobic laws.”
Gov. Bill Lee also signed a different proposal this year that bars transgender athletes from playing girls public high school or middle school sports.