Lawsuit filed over Tennessee bathroom law

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 9:15 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Dozens of new laws go into effect across the Mid-South Thursday, impacting everything from city streets to firearms.

One law is already the target of a lawsuit that takes aim at the Tennessee governor.

House Bill 1182 goes into effect as Tennessee law starting Thursday. The law requires businesses to post a sign if they allow customers to use gendered bathrooms of their choice. A lawsuit challenging the law claims the law is discriminatory.

“They need to rethink it, but in the meantime, we need to do everything we can to strike it down, and that’s why we filed our suit,” said Mike Curb, owner of Curb Records in Nashville.

Curb, owner and operator of renowned independent record label, Curb Records in Nashville, has teamed up with LGBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders and the National Center for Lesbian Rights to file a federal lawsuit against House Bill 1182.

HB 1182 is a first-of-its-kind, new Tennessee law requiring businesses and government facilities to post this red sign if they allow transgender people to use multi-use bathrooms, locker rooms, or changing areas aligned with their gender identity.

“When you put a sign up today and say, LGBT people or transgender people use this bathroom, the clear implication is that it’s a negative,” said Curb.

State Representative Tim Rudd of Murfreesboro proposed the legislation. WMC reached out to him for comment but he did not respond.

Rudd has been quoted saying the bill was intended to protect women and children from sexual predators. Governor Bill Lee signed the bill into law in May, part of several new anti-LGBTQ laws in Tennessee that have been labeled the “slate of hate.”

“To me, it’s very discriminatory,” Curb said.

“We believe it compels our client to proclaim a message about bathroom usage with which the client does not agree,” said Bill Harbison, lawyer at Sherrard Roe Voigt & Harbison Co-Council.

Curb hopes a judge strikes down the law as unconstitutional.

“I would like it to be struck down and then I would like to see some of these other bills challenged,” he said.

At this time, no court date has been set for this lawsuit.

WMC also reached out to Lee’s office for comment, but did not hear back.

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