HB1274/SB1499 – Requires the AG to back an LEA in court if sued over Bathroom/Locker room policy – Holt/Hensely

Bill Description

This bill expands the attorney general and reporter's duties to include representation of an LEA or certain LEA employees in a legal proceeding arising out of the LEA's adoption of a policy or practice designating multi-person restrooms, locker rooms, or other facilities for use based only on one's biological sex, designed to protect the privacy of students from exposure to others of the opposite biological sex in situations where students may be in various states of undress by designating multi-person restrooms, locker rooms. Such policy may, however, make other appropriate accommodations for those who do not wish to use those facilities designated on the basis of biological sex.
In the event that the attorney general determines that, in the best interest of the state, the LEA requires private counsel, the LEA will have the right to file for reimbursement of defense costs in the same manner as state employees. This bill specifies that the attorney general's duty to defend under this bill does not apply to willful, malicious, or criminal acts or omissions, or for acts or omissions done for personal gain.
This bill also requires the attorney general to advise the state board of education if the state board requests advice regarding the development of a model policy for use by an LEA that chooses to implement a policy on the use of multi-person locker rooms, restrooms, or other similar facilities for use based on one's biological sex.

TLRC Position

Favor: It is common sense that the comfort and safety of the majority of children, who are heterosexual, should take priority over the perceived comfort or discomfort of a small minority who may or may not be L, B, G, T, or Q based only upon their feelings and perceived self-image. Biology is real and provable. LBGTQ is perception and not provable. It may be very real, but it is a violation of the rights of the majority to impose policies that make innocent children uneasy, fearful and confused, and that could possibly put them at risk.

TLRC Observed Process

This bill has been before the GA for three sessions and has failed to pass. It came very close this year but the senate, once again, derailed it in the final stage.
It makes no sense to leave LEA's at the mercy of a radical group such as the ACLU who would jump in to sue an LEA for discrimination for establishing a perfectly sane, moral, and normal policy.
LEA's are struggling fiscally and cannot afford a lawsuit and the radical groups understand this. So the LEA's adopt liberal policies to avoid those lawsuits.
This bill would give the LEA's the backing they need to adopt traditional policy and discourage radical groups from seeking reasons to sue.
What does the state have to lose?

Vote Result: Failed

Score: +5

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