Gay Tennessee GOP lawmaker urges defeat of anti-trans athlete bill

Feb 26, 2021

Rep. Eddie Mannis (R) of Knoxville, Tenn.
Credit capitol.tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's only openly gay Republican lawmaker is warning that legislation to ban transgender athletes from participating in girls' sports would likely result in vulnerable students being marginalized.

Rep. Eddie Mannis said in a recent letter that the bill would also harm Tennessee’s ability to recruit athletes and businesses.

Mannis’ remarks stand out inside the GOP-dominant Tennessee Statehouse, where legislative leaders have expressed strong support of the measure despite criticism from Democratic members and civil rights advocates.

According to the bill, student athletes would be required to prove that their sex matches the student’s “original” birth certificate in order to participate in public school sports.