KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A bill banning some gender-affirming care for minors, such as puberty blockers or surgery, was passed in the Tennessee House on Thursday.
It will now head to Gov. Bill Lee's desk where he has the option to sign it into law.
The bill, HB 0001, passed 77 to 16. It passed the Senate on Monday, Feb. 13.
The bill aims to ban gender-affirming medical procedures from being performed on minors if they are "inconsistent with the minor's sex" or if the procedure is to treat "purported discomfort or distress from a discordance between the minor's sex and asserted identity." This includes procedures involving surgery and prescription drugs.
The bill was amended to remove language that would have considered some gender-affirming care child abuse.
The American Civil Liberties Union Of Tennessee and Lambda Legal said they promised immediate legal action against the bill if it became law.
"We are deeply disturbed that state politicians have voted to interfere with the ability of families to make decisions, in consultation with medical professionals, to provide critical care for young people who are transgender. All Tennesseans should have access to the healthcare they need to survive and thrive. Gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth is safe, necessary, effective and often life-saving. Legislators are risking trans young people’s health, wellbeing and safety with this dangerous legislation. We urge Governor Lee to veto this overreaching, discriminatory bill, or we will see him in court," ACLU-TN staff attorney Lucas Cameron-Vaughn said.
The ACLU asks anyone at risk of being affected by these restrictions on gender-affirming care to reach out here.
The House also passed bill HB 0009 on Thursday, Feb. 23. That bill would make it a criminal offense to engage in an adult cabaret performance on public property, specifically in the view of minors.
Both HB 0001 and HB 0009 were introduced by Senator Jack Johnson (R - Franklin).
"The House took life-saving healthcare options away from trans youth and their families and ignored the 1st Amendment by passing HB1 and HB9. Almost 300 organizations, congregations, businesses have spoken out against them. Governor Lee should veto them," The Tennessee Equality Project tweeted in response to both bills passing the House.