The “New Bathroom Bill,” SB1297/HB1151, has been expanded and now includes additional areas considered “public” places.
The bill – which would charge members of the opposite sex with indecent exposure if they expose themselves while using a restroom, locker room, shower or changing facility designated for a sex other than theirs – has been amended to encompass more facilities. The expanded bill would include facilities along highways, transportation facilities, parks, businesses, places of amusement, playgrounds, hallways, lobbies and common areas of apartments and hotels.
While the bill does not specify “transgender” individuals, it does state gender “conditions” will not be considered a viable defense.
The bill’s wording states, “A medical, psychiatric, or psychological diagnosis of gender dysphoria, gender confusion, or similar conditions, in the absence of untreated mental conditions, such as schizophrenia, does not serve as a defense to the offense of indecent exposure.”
The bill would likewise charge anyone of the opposite sex involved in sexual contact.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee has registered its opposition to the bill, saying, “Because this sweeping bill doesn’t include any age definition, it could even criminalize children, turning the most routine school activities, such as changing for gym class, into crimes.”