Transgender bathroom battle brewing in Tennessee

Transgender bathroom battle brewing in Tennessee
Published: Nov. 12, 2015 at 1:40 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 12, 2015 at 9:36 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - There's a bathroom battle brewing in Tennessee over which restroom transgender students should be allowed to use.

"If they identify as being female, they should be allowed to use the female bathroom and vice-versa," said Memphian Ariel Elias.

"I think boys should go in the boy's room," said Trevor Simes. "No matter how they identify themselves."

"We're at a time when each individual should express who they are and be who they are," said Chris Balton.

Republican state representative Bud Hulsey of Kingsport, Tennessee, said he's trying to clear up confusion with a proposed law.

"When you were born, you got a birth certificate," said Hulsey. "And that's what's on it, and that shows which bathroom you use. Pretty simple."

But, in a recent court ruling, a Chicago school was told it had to allow a transgender girl access to the girls locker room or risk losing federal funds.

"Regardless of what's put in place, our children's safety is our number one priority," said Shelby County Schools board member Stephanie Love.

Love said she'd feel uncomfortable with a boy being in her daughter's bathroom.

However, she doesn't want to be discriminatory based on gender identity.

"Whatever we need to install or whatever we need to change, based on the law, you know we have to do that," said Love.

Representative Hulsey plans to present his bathroom bill in January.

Several LGBT organizations have already gone on the record against the proposal.

"If Rep. Hulsey really is concerned about the safety of the children in schools, there are many other ways to address that other than passing this horrible 'potty bill,'" said Ginger Leonard, the president of the Tennessee Equality Project.

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