The ACLU is challenging a new Tennessee law that advocates say will endanger the transgender community. The law requires businesses and schools to post a warning sign if they allow transgender people to use the restroom that aligns with their gender.
The lawsuit filed today in federal court claims that the law violates the First Amendment and asks the court to stop enforcement until a ruling is issued.
More: Read the ACLU suit
Business owners in Nashville and Chattanooga are among the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Bob Bernstein, who owns Fido coffeehouse in Hillsboro Village, says the state can’t force him to post a “controversial, ideologically-motivated and inaccurate sign” in his place of business.
Under the law, House Bill 1182/Senate Bill 1224, the sign has to read, “Notice: This facility maintains a policy of allowing the use of restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom.” The law also specifies the use of the colors red and yellow, as well as large letters, to catch people’s attention. Transgender-friendly businesses that refuse would face criminal charges.
If the court rejects the ACLU’s injunction, the law will go into effect July 1.