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Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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September 30, 2023

     There are only two genders.  Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed legislation defining the word sex in state law, becoming the second state this year to provide an answer to the increasingly polarizing question, “What is a woman?”

     Senate Bill 1440, which was signed, clarifies that sex means “a person’s immutable biological sex as determined by anatomy and genetics existing at the time of birth,” letting the state Legislature draw clear sex-based distinctions in areas such as public accommodations and scholastic sports.  “Unfortunately, we have reached a point in society where common words like man or woman, male or female, boy or girl have come under attack,” said Republican state Rep. Gino Bulso, the bill’s House sponsor.

     Members of the Biden administration have been stumped during congressional hearings after being asked to define “woman” by Republican lawmakers amid the rise of the gender-identity movement.  “I am proud to have sponsored legislation to amend the Tennessee code to define the biological term sex to ensure that our laws are crystal clear so that judges and bureaucrats understand the biological and genetic differences between a man and a woman,” said Mr. Bulso.

     Opposing the measure were LGBTQ advocates who argued that the measure discriminates against transgender people seeking legal recognition and access to facilities and categories based on gender identity versus biological sex.  “Let’s be clear: The goal of this bill is to exclude the LGBTQ+ community from nondiscrimination protections in the state of Tennessee and to perpetuate a false narrative of who transgender people are,” said Human Rights Campaign legal director Sarah Warbelow after the bill passed the Senate. 

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