FRANKLIN, Tenn. (April 18, 2016) – The following statement regarding the “bathroom bill” can be attributed to FACT President David Fowler:
“I speak today on behalf of the organization I represent, but I would note that I have with me letters from numerous ministers representing more than 22,000 members that were given to me in the last week with the understanding that I would present them to the Governor’s office. And I will do that in the days to come. They, too, are in support of the bill we are here to address, Senate Bill 2387/House Bill 2414, known as the so-called “bathroom bill.”
“I would like to preface my remarks with a quote from a speech given by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Russian dissident, almost 40 years ago at Harvard University that I believe fits the occasion:
‘A decline in courage may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party.’
“Courage is called for in these challenging times, and that is particularly true in connection with this legislation. When our elected officials are faced with intense criticism, false prophecies of economic gloom and doom, and naysayers, it is easy for them to become discouraged in their pursuit of that which is right and good. And it is right and good that those who are exhorted by Scripture to pray for all those in authority who may be discouraged come alongside them that they may be encouraged. That is our hope today.
“We come together today not to criticize those persons and business leaders who oppose House Bill 2414; though we disagree with their views, we cannot help but admire the few who appear to be willing to put their principles and their conscience above matters of mere economics.
“In fact, today we collectively call upon our legislators and governor to make that same kind of principled stand relative to the protection of the young people who attend our public schools and colleges when it comes to intimate settings like bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers.
“House Bill 2414 is not like the law passed in North Carolina because ours only applies to the bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers in our public schools and colleges that may be used by our young people.
“The bill simply requires that if our educational institutions have multi-person bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers they designate them male or female and that use of those multi-person facilities be limited to those of that biological sex. But the bill also allows accommodations for those who do not feel comfortable using the facility that corresponds to their biological sex while protecting the privacy of all students.
“We are also not here today to condemn those who experience a psychological tension with their biological anatomy. They deserve our compassion. But so does the prepubescent girl or young college woman who does not want to be in a state of undress in front of someone who is their biological opposite. The feelings of those young people must also be taken into account as well as the rights of parents, who entrust their children to our public institutions. Parents have a stake in the protection of their children that seems to have gotten lost in this debate. The General Assembly must not forget. The state must not undermine the rights of parents to protect their own children.
“This is not an issue the organization I represent nor these pastors wish we had to address, but because it is an issue in our state and because it is an issue for the parents that we represent, we believe we are compelled to address it; otherwise, we will not be faithful to what we believe.
“By being here today, we hope that we can lend courage to the many in our Legislature who believe that that little girl and that young woman deserve respect for their privacy and, moreover, deserve protection from those in our society who have shown that they will take advantage of the situation when public policy regarding bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers shifts from a biological understanding of sex to a psychological one. And we hope to encourage our legislators to respect the rights of the parents who care for the safety of their children when they are entrusted to our state’s temporary care.
“We urge our legislators and our governor to stand firm and to support Senate Bill 2387–House Bill 2414 and to be as willing to put principle above economics as those who are opposing this bill appear willing to do.”
What the Fourth Circuit Court Decision Means to Tennessee
FACT President David Fowler explains how the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to rewrite “sex” to mean “gender identity” in reference to the segregation of bathrooms affects Tennessee. Watch the Video
FACT President gives a more complete explanation of what the 4th Circuit ruling on Title IX that recently changed “sex” to “gender identity” means for the TN “bathroom bill,” HB 2414, and for our state. Watch the Video
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