Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed an anti-LGBTQ education bill into law Tuesday, allowing parents and guardians to withdraw their children from classes that feature discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity. SB 1229, which was passed by the state senate last month, stipulates that adults must be given 30 days’ notice before a class featuring LGBTQ material, so they can decide if they want their children to participate in it.
“Quite frankly, instead of trying to shield students from this, they need to be prepared for the world that they exist in,” Memphis Sen. Raumesh Akbari told WKMS. “Also, it puts people—children—who identify as LGBTIQ, it makes them appear like something that can be opted out of. And I think that is truly unfair to those children.”
Tennessee is notorious for its “slate of hate,” so named because of the number of anti-LGBTQ bills that feature in a typical legislative session. In March, Governor Lee signed a bill banning transgender women and girls in Tennessee from playing on school sports teams that correspond with their gender identity, and lawmakers in the state just passed two other pieces of anti-trans legislation around gender-affirming healthcare, and a bathroom bill which states that businesses must make it clear that trans people use their facilities.