Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed legislation into law Tuesday that prohibits treating minors with life-altering drug treatment or surgery.
LGBT activists claim the treatment is “gender-affirming” for people who want to live as the sex that is the opposite of their biological sex.
The Associated Press (AP) reported on the development:
Tennessee’s version, which goes into effect immediately, is slightly different. Under the new law, doctors would be banned from providing gender-confirming hormone treatment to prepubescent minors. Arkansas’ ban applies to anyone under the age of 18 and also specifically bans doctors from providing gender-confirming surgery.
Just a day earlier, the first-term Republican governor signed off on legislation that would require businesses and government facilities open to the public to post a sign if they let transgender people use multiperson bathrooms, locker rooms or changing rooms associated with their gender identity. The law, which goes into effect July 1, is the first of its kind to be signed.
Lee also signed legislation late last week that puts public schools and their districts at risk of losing civil lawsuits if they let transgender students or employees use multiperson bathrooms or locker rooms that do not reflect their sex at birth. It was the first bill restricting bathroom use by transgender people signed in any state in about five years, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
Lee also showed support for legislation taken up by lawmakers across the country to prohibit biological men from competing against biological women. In Tennessee, the law applies to sports in public middle and high schools.
Lee has said transgender competition would “destroy women’s sports,” the AP reported.
Lee also signed legislation that would give parents 30 days notice and an opt-out option for students who are going to be taught about sexual orientation and gender identity.
“If lawmakers really care about the best interests of trans youth, they would focus on improving access to quality health care instead of playing doctor themselves,” Alphonso David, president of Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. “Patients, parents and health care providers should be guided by science and medical best practices rather when seeking treatments, not the whims of the state legislators.”
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