by Joseph Brant
Tennessee's first piece of anti-LGBT proposed legislation of 2018 is dead.
Rep. Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) has moved to withdraw his controversial bill in the House. HB 1488 would have directed the TN Attorney General to defend school districts that engage in anti-transgender bathroom discrimination. Arguments against it ranged from economic feasibility (or perhaps, liability) and its likely unconstitutionality, to the inevitable likelihood it would make the state appear intolerant.
In a message to supporters, the Tennessee Equality Project's Chris Sanders thanked the 700 people who reached out to Rep. McCormick to urge withdrawal of the bill.
"We [create the online forms allowing users to send an email direct] because sometimes it actually does work. It doesn't always. But that's why you try and you don't know until you do," he said. "Jenny Ford, who is our lobbyist, and I spend a lot of time thinking through these moves. And we work with lots of volunteers and try to develop tools to make it easy for you."
Marisa Richmond shared the announcement from the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition on Facebook and added, "Let us hope that this marks the end of playing political games with the lives of transgender people."
The news comes shortly after local videographer Jeff Swafford created a video that features leaders in the local transgender community such as Marisa Richmond, Carla Lewis, Jaime Combs and Aurora Sexton speaking out regarding trans life in Tennessee.
McCormick photo via the Chattanooga Times Free Press