NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Tennessee Senate passed a bill that says a student athlete can only compete in sports or other events under the gender they were assigned at birth.
This bill was put forward by GOP lawmakers and has been discussed several times. On Monday evening, Senators voted 27-6 to pass SB228.
This bill has created an uproar from LGBTQ advocates saying this directly discriminates against transgender students and people. The Tennessee Equality Project, a statewide LGBTQ rights and public policy organization, released a statement on Tuesday.
“Supporters of SB228 never produced evidence that there is a need for this legislation. It never was about sports. It was always about discrimination against transgender students," Tennessee Equality Project Executive Director Chris Sanders said in a statement on Tuesday.
CEO of the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce Joe Woolley said while this bill is directed at student athletes, he feels a bill like this passing could mean drastic hits to our tourism and businesses wanting to do work in Tennessee.
"We’re looking at events like the Super Bowl, we’re looking at the World Cup in 2026, we all love our NCAA basketball tournaments, all three of those organizations that run those events have said they will seriously consider not bringing their events to locations that have discriminatory laws on the books," Wooley said.
The bill still has to pass the House of Representatives.