Image Credit: Senator Jack Johnson / Facebook
The Tennessee Conservative [By Kelly M. Jackson] –
Late last month a lawsuit to stop a new law (HB001/SB001) from taking effect, which prohibits what proponents call “gender affirming care” for minors was filed by the Department Of Justice in federal court.
Tennessee’s law protects children from life altering medical consequences, but the Department of Justice (DOJ) claims the law violates the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment of the Constitution, discriminating due to sex and transgender status.
In a statement, at the time, Assistant U.S. Attorney General Kristen Clarke said that “no person should be denied access to necessary medical care because of their transgender status.” Clarke sent a letter to state general attorneys all across the country last month warning them about such discrimination.
Governor Bill Lee, who called the lawsuit “federal overreach at its worst,” said in a statement that “Tennessee is committed to protecting children from permanent, life-altering decisions.”
In a recent report, Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R-D23-Franklin) said, “I’m very disappointed, It’s another blatant overreach by the Biden administration through their weaponized Department of Justice to come in and try to thwart and subvert the will of the Tennessee people.”
Interestingly, the same type of legislation has been proposed every session since 2019 by other lawmakers, (Representative John Ragan (R-D33-Oak Ridge) and Senator Janice Bowling (R-D16-Tullahoma) to name two). However, it was always killed in committee before being moved to either floor of the General Assembly where it would have very likely been voted into law.
Although the General Assembly was able to get the legislation over the finish line this session, a recent report from the Washington Post suggests that a concerted effort by local grassroots and conservative publications are responsible for pushing Republican lawmakers into finally passing laws that will protect children from predatory medical practices that would have life altering consequences.
To quote the article, “Walsh’s efforts echo those of other conservative media in the state, including recently founded outlets like the Tennessee Star and Tennessee Conservative and political advocacy group Tennessee Stands, whose executive director — Gary Humble — has played a notable role in pressing GOP lawmakers further right on culture war issues. In last year’s Republican primary, Humble came within about 800 votes of beating Johnson, a 16-year incumbent and leader of the senate. Johnson then moved this year to become a lead sponsor on the drag show and gender-affirming care bans.”
“He has really pushed people to the fringes,” state Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D) said of Humble, who declined an interview request. “After Johnson nearly lost to him, he started sponsoring these bills. … Leadership is now behind these bills. That wasn’t the case before.”
It will now be up to Tennessee’s new Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti’s office to aggressively defend the new laws in federal court, keeping all kids in Tennessee safe from those who would wish to do them harm in the name of “tolerance”.
About the Author: Kelly Jackson is a recent escapee from corporate America, and a California refugee to Tennessee. Christ follower, Wife and Mom of three amazing teenagers. She has a BA in Comm from Point Loma Nazarene University, and has a background in law enforcement and human resources. Since the summer of 2020, she has spent any and all free time in the trenches with local grassroots orgs, including Mom’s for Liberty Williamson County and Tennessee Stands as a core member. Outspoken advocate for parents rights, medical freedom, and individual liberty. Kelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.