This week, we are featuring some of the worst state bills that have been pre-filed. (Pre-filing is a process to expedite the legislative process by filing a bill before the legislative session starts.) These include some of the most terrible anti-education, anti-choice, and anti-LGBTQ bills in recent memory. Here, for example, is what we are up against in the state of Tennessee:

Tennessee’s HB1/SB1 is unlike any anti-trans health care ban we have seen. This bill would not only ban all gender-affirming care (medical and surgical) for trans Tennesseans under 18 but is also vague, intrusive, and cruel. Inspired by anti-trans bigot Matt Walsh, this bill not only bans prescribing medication and surgical care (which is rarely, if ever, performed on trans youth), it goes so far as to prohibit doctors from even helping with social transition, such as changing a child’s name and gender presentation, to allow a minor to live in accordance with their gender.

The bill goes even further to allow special lawsuits for situations that only exist in conservative fantasies, for example: 1) parents of a trans child may sue a provider of gender-affirming care if their child receives care without parental consent and then dies by suicide, or 2) a child that received gender-affirming care may sue their own parents for allowing such care when they become an adult.

Generally, lawmakers choose their first few bills numbers (for example, SB1, SB2, etc.) for landmark bills that help define the primary agenda of the legislative body. So we can clearly see Tennessee’s priority here—targeting trans youth by any means necessary.

Obviously, this is entirely unacceptable, and we will fight to ensure that this and similar bills are not signed into law.

Some have asked us why this would be an atheist issue, and I want to address that very clearly. Aside from the fact that all civil rights issues are atheist issues because they affect our friends and family members, we need to be clear where the advocates claim to find their justification for these clear civil rights violations: religious scripture. Whether this reflects their genuine belief of whether they cynically use religion as a cudgel for their political gains, we need to stand strong against these encroachments on our privacy and rights.

With the help of our remarkable members on the ground and my dedicated colleagues, our friends in Tennessee will not face this awful proposed legislation alone. You can be a part of this vital effort today by giving online. Many of our members have chosen monthly gifts, which have a dual benefit: it’s an easy way to turn even a modest monthly donation into an impactful total amount, and it also helps us budget and forecast effectively. The choice is yours, and we are grateful for your steadfast support.

Thank you.

Brittany Williams
State Policy Counsel

PS: If you would like to support our work by donating stock or qualified charitable IRA distributions, or by including us in your will or other planned giving vehicle, my colleague Martina Fern will be happy to walk you through the process. She can be reached at 908-666-6574 or [email protected].

American Atheists is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, nonprofit educational organization that relies on the support of members like you. Contributions are tax-deductible. Our Federal Tax ID Number is 74-2466507 and our Combined Federal Campaign number is 52217.

American Atheists
225 Cristiani Street
Cranford, NJ 07016
United States

See Also:
Six Days of Awful Bills – Day Two
Six Days of Awful Bills – Day Three
Six Days of Awful Bills – Day Four
Six Days of Awful Bills – Day Five
Six Days of Awful Bills – Day Six

Copyright 2015 NYCA
Follow us: