The Tennessee Accommodations for All Children Act — also known as House Bill 1233 — requires public schools to make “reasonable accommodation” for a person who cannot or will not use a restroom or changing facility designated for their sex in a public school building or at a school-sponsored activity.
The bill defines a person’s sex as “a person’s immutable biological sex as determined by anatomy and genetics existing at the time of birth.” It defines “reasonable accommodation” as having access to a “single-occupancy restroom or changing facility” or “use of an employee restroom or changing facility.”
HRC said the bill further discriminates against trans students and opens public schools up to legal consequences if a student believes they have “shared a sex-segregated space” with a transgender student.
“This bill is squarely in defiance of federal law and flagrantly discriminatory,” the statement read.
“The state of Tennessee is quickly becoming a national leader for anti-LGBTQ legislation, as lawmakers would rather discriminate against LGBTQ youth than focus on real problems facing Tennesseans,” HRC President Alphonso David said in the statement.
Federal nondiscrimination laws concerning public accommodations only cover race, color, religion, national origin and disability, according to NCTE.
However, 44 states and the District of Columbia prohibit discrimination based on sex in public accommodations. And 17 states have laws that explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
LGBTQ advocates say the policy is “offensive and humiliating” for members of the community and could lead to harassment.
CNN’s Devan Cole, Veronica Stracqualursi, Jamiel Lynch, Jennifer Henderson, Alaa Elassar and Priya Krishnakumar contributed to this report.