Transgender restroom bill advancing in Tennessee Senate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Senate is advancing a bill to require transgender students to use bathrooms that match their sex at birth, while House members are seeking to revive the measure that was defeated earlier in the week.

The Senate Education Committee on Wednesday voted 7-3 in favor of the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Mike Bell of Riceville. Meanwhile, Republican Rep. Jim Coley of Bartlett told the House Education Administration and Planning Committee that he will seek to have the committee reconsider its decision to study the measure after the Legislature adjourns for the year.

Religious conservatives are pushing the legislation, but Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has raised concerns it could endanger federal education funding and says that he wants to leave the issue to local school districts to decide.