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Federal Judge Strikes Down Anti-Trans Restroom Sign Law
signed into effect by Republican Gov. Bill Lee last year, a building that has multi-user restrooms and allows people to use facilities matching their gender identity must post an 8-inch by 6-inch sign outside each restroom reading: “This facility maintains a policy of allowing the use of restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom.”Violators of the law who refuse to post a sign matching the exact specifications of the law — including things like background and text color, font size, and wording — could face a maximum fine of $500 or a misdemeanor charge that could result in them serving up to six months in jail.Shortly after the law’s passage, Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk, who represents Nashville and its surrounding environs, announced that his office would not enforce the law by prosecuting business owners who don’t comply.A month after the law’s passage, the American Civil Liberties Union and its Tennessee chapter filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Robert Bernstein, the owner of Fido, a Nashville-based restaurant, alleging that the law — dubbed the “Business Bathroom Bill” by opponents — is unconstitutional because it violates’ business owners First Amendment rights by forcing them to engage in compelled speech.In July 2021, with the help of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Curb Records and the Mike Curb Foundation filed a second lawsuit challenging the law, which is currently pending.
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