It is when lawmakers give imagination preference over reality that we get nonsensical laws such as one sponsored by Rep. Tim Rudd of Murfreesboro, irresponsibly signed into law by Gov. Bill Lee, and ignored for obvious reasons by those responsible for enforcement such as Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk.
Rudd sponsored a bill that says Tennessee businesses open to the public must post a sign if they allow transgender individuals to use their bathroom of choice. Lee signed the bill into law despite that Rudd said it has no enforcement mechanism. And Funk says he won’t enforce it regardless because it discriminates.
For those who don’t know, a transgendered individual is one whose gender identity is different from the gender they were genetically assigned.
Some public establishments have gone along with the idea and are either creating three bathrooms, one for men, one for women, and one for transgender individuals. Or, they are simply allowing the transgendered to use whatever bathroom they like, something that parents especially object to when their children are also using them.
Rudd’s law requires businesses that do so post a sign to, in effect, warn parents their young daughter may encounter a male predator in the women’s restroom.
As the bill progressed through the legislature, Rudd claimed it had no penalty for businesses that ignore it, saying it could be enforced by district attorneys or through lawsuits. But Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference President Amy Weirich argues that the language in the new law “doesn’t speak to anything having to do with enforcement. The way it’s written, I don’t see anything that allows or provides me the responsibility or right to go to civil court and ask a judge to enforce it.” That in itself opens the question of why Gov. Lee signed it under those circumstances.
Nashville DA Funk says he won’t enforce it under any circumstance because “my office won’t promote hate” nor discrimination.
Once the bill became law, Rudd claimed it indeed carries penalties due to its location in Tennessee code. He misled other legislators to that effect and should be censured by them.
Concerned parents may side with Rep. Rudd, but he’s opened a proverbial can of worms and, quite frankly, did something legislators do far too often — they create legislation to address problems that do not exist. At last count, there were more than 100 “genders” and it’s impossible to recognize those who assume them by how they present to the world, and also impossible to offer every one of them their own restroom.
The simplest solution is to leave the nonissue alone. One problem here or there doesn’t demand legislation. It demands understanding, compassion and logic.
-The Kingsport Times-News