Tennessee Gov. Lee signs public school transgender 'bathroom bill' into law

Critics say the state is 'quickly becoming a national leader for anti-LGBTQ legislation'

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announces $5.4 million in grants to groups for state-funded effort to combat human trafficking on Thursday, May 13, 2021, in a state Capitol news conference. Among recipients was a foundation created by former NFL player Tim Tebow, pictured at right. (Photo by Andy Sher/Chattanooga Times Free Press)

NASHVILLE - Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has signed into law a "bathroom bill" that allows public schools to be sued if officials allow transgender students, teachers and staff to use multi-person bathrooms, locker rooms or changing facilities that don't match the gender listed on their birth certificates.

The governor's action on Friday drew immediate condemnation from LGBTQ leaders who denounced him and lawmakers who passed the measure.

House Bill 1233 / Senate Bill 1367 requires schools to make "reasonable accommodations" for transgender students by providing them alternative facilities such as single-occupant or faculty restrooms.

The law specifies that the accommodations cannot include access to "a restroom or changing facility that is designated for use by members of the opposite sex." And it defines sex as "a person's immutable biological sex as determined by anatomy and genetics existing at the time of birth."