Transgender pronouns, hemp bills may die due to legislature technicality

Redistricting Tennessee
Posted at 8:31 PM, Apr 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-28 06:33:46-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Two controversial bills passed in the House may die due to a technicality from a Senate committee.

The Senate Finance Committee closed its business Wednesday for the year without hearing two particular bills.

One of the bills would allow a teacher to ignore a student's preferred pronouns. It's a bill opponents have called discriminatory and would allow adult teachers to bully certain students.

However, opponents said some teachers may have personal or religious beliefs to prevent them from using other pronouns.

In a statement, the ACLU of Tennessee praised the committee for placing the bill at the end of its calendar on Wednesday, which stopped it from advancing during this year's legislative session.

"We are profoundly grateful to the members of the Senate Finance, Ways and Means committee, whose decision not to advance this dangerous bill affirms that discrimination and hate are not welcome in Tennessee schools. Trans children and youth already face unprecedented amounts of discrimination in education, from not being able to use their correct name to multiple forms of harassment and bullying," said Henry Seaton, transgender justice advocate with the ACLU of Tennessee. "Legislators’ action today is one step in the right direction toward protecting this vulnerable population, and we commit to doing everything we can to move our state forward in the fight for fair and equal treatment of all trans people. We hope that trans children across the state are comforted by the failure of this bill, and further believe that they are valued in the classroom."

The second bill is either a ban on many Delta-8 products or a bill to largely regulate hemp-derived THC in Tennessee. That one is controversial because of the many people who use the product in the state and because banning those products would hurt thousands of retail stores and producers of the products in Tennessee.

Since the committee acted on neither of these, the bills won't go to the Senate floor for a vote.

Unless the statehouse decides to push the issues, they will fail for the year.