The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group, filed suit in the US District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee on Tuesday against Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and other Tennessee officials in relation to the Tennessee Accommodations for All Children Act, which prohibits transgender children from using facilities that correspond with their gender identity. The challenged act requires schools to accommodate transgender children and any individuals who refuse to use multi-occupancy facilities designated for their sex assigned at birth by providing separate facilities for them, but it does not allow these individuals to use facilities that correspond to their gender identity.
The Human Rights Campaign filed the lawsuit on behalf of two individual plaintiff minors, a fourteen-year-old transgender boy and a six-year-old transgender girl, who have been required to use separate facilities by their schools. The complaint reports that the fourteen-year-old boy’s school has required him to use the single-occupancy bathroom in the nurse’s office rather than allowing him to use the male restroom facilities. The complaint also recounts the emotional distress that the boy has suffered due to being unable to use male restroom facilities. The complaint states:
The School Facilities Law’s “reasonable accommodation” is therefore anything but reasonable or accommodating, leaving transgender students no choice but to use bathrooms corresponding with their assigned sex at birth or being singled out, and outed as transgender, by requesting to use single-occupancy bathrooms such as employee bathrooms or nurse’s bathrooms.
The Human Rights Campaign brought the lawsuit under the 14th Amendment, alleging that the denial of equal access to gender-specific bathrooms constitutes deprivation of equal protection. The plaintiffs, if successful, ask that they be permitted to use the multi-occupancy restroom and changing facilities which correspond to their gender, rather than the sex assigned to them at birth.