Tennessee joins lawsuit to sue federal government over transgender bathroom directive


JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL)- Tennessee has joined a lawsuit to sue the federal government over a bathroom directive from the white house.

Tennessee is one of eleven states filing the lawsuit.

This comes after the Obama administration said public schools should allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.

Several of Tennessee’s lawmakers sent a letter to Attorney General Herbert Slatery recently asking him to take action.

Slatery said Wednesday, Tennessee wants a judge to declare the directive unlawful.

State Representative Timothy Hill said he applauded the Tennessee Attorney General’s efforts to join in on this lawsuit.

While transgender advocates said this legislation will only bring more unwanted attention to their community.

“A lot of these folk didn’t ask to be put in the spotlight, and that must be hard,” Ben Schaller said.

“That’s infuriating to me, you’ve used the bathroom next to transgender people your entire lives with no issue, it was never an issue until politicians drug it up to be an issue,” Beth Sluder said.

We found differing opinions about the decision by Tennessee’s Attorney General Herbert Slatery.

Tennessee and nine other states joined Texas in suing the federal government over a recent directive about transgender students in schools.

“Texas will continue to stand up to President Obama and his agencies whenever and wherever they attempt to circumvent the rule of law,” Ken Paxton said.

It was a directive from the Obama administration to schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their chosen gender identity.

“He didn’t make any laws that say anything, he just said lets start being nice to people and not segregating them from rest rooms,” Schaller said.

State Representative Timothy Hill told us on Wednesday evening he is in favor of the lawsuit.

“What we are concerned about is a federal over reach,” Hill said.

Hill said he feels its a debate each state should have individually, a state’s right worth fighting for in court.

Until there is a resolution, we asked Hill what schools in Tennessee should do.

“Well you know as far as the actual solution I am not sure just yet, but I am certain that its something that can be set at the state level,” Hill said.

A spokesman for Governor Bill Haslam told the Tennesseean newspaper , he supports Tennessee joining the lawsuit against the federal government.

Tennessee’s lawmakers debated transgender bathroom legislation this year but it was put on hold by the sponsor.Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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