Tennessee's gubernatorial candidates answers to video question 6

Go to the 2018 Gubernatorial Videos main page to find out more about the letter we sent, the questions we asked, and the process we followed in making sure as many candidates as possible participated in this video voter guide.

The third week in February, the Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT) sent letters to all the gubernatorial candidates, both the Democratic candidates and the Republican candidates, asking them to participate in our video voter guide. Those candidates included (in alphabetical order): Diane Black, Randy Boyd, Karl Dean, Craig Fitzhugh, Beth Harwell, Bill Lee, and Kay White. Participants who followed our guidelines and answered all 9 questions include Diane Black, Randy Boyd, Bill Lee, and Kay White.

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In 2016, the ACLU filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education against a local school district for discrimination because it had designated its multi-person locker rooms and bathrooms for use based on the student’s biological sex, even though it made accommodations for students who do not want to use those facilities based on their biological sex. What are your thoughts about whether schools should be allowed to have such a policy and whether the state should protect local schools from complaints and lawsuits over such policies?


Diane Black’s answer transcribed from video

So, this is pretty simple to me. I will go back to God made us. He made individuals. He made a man and He made a woman. And I say, for the men, they go into the men’s room, and for the women and the girls, they go into the women’s room. And you do your thing that’s a biological thing. You wash your hands and you come out. That’s it. It’s that simple.


Randy Boyd’s answer transcribed from video

I do not believe in a movement toward open bathroom policies that put our children and students in potentially harmful and dangerous situations. And as your next Governor, I will work to promote policies that protect our students and our children throughout the state.


Bill Lee’s answer transcribed from video

Local leaders need to be able to make decisions at the local level, and too often, outside groups come in trying to intimidate communities, burying them with litigation that they can’t afford. As Governor, I will do whatever it takes to defend that local decision-making process, including defending local school districts against intimidation or lawsuits.


Kay White’s answer transcribed from video

David, as Governor, I would say, yes, our state needs to protect those schools because I am here to tell you, number one, they opened up a can of worms because when you tell boys they can go in a girls’ locker room, what are they going to do at that age? They are going to go even if they hide and look. It’s nature. I’m a commonsense person, and I know that when you open up a door, it often swings too wide. And it gives an opportunity for girls to be harassed, laughed at, mocked should their bodies not be what the guys think it should be. Vice versa, with the boys it also happens. I don’t think too many girls would want to go into the boys’ locker room. I’m just being—having commonsense and telling it like it is. You remember: I’ve raised nine children. I know kind of how they think. And the boys would love, though, the opportunity to look at the girls. That’s the way it is when you’re that age.

And I am saying we need to protect our children from discrimination, from being bullied, from being harassed. This is what the ACLU should be looking at, those personalities, the character that is being developed. But I do not feel that they are looking at that. They are looking more at stirring up trouble, making noise, and having something to get on their bandstand and preach about. That is totally irrelevant to the maturing and growth of our children. So, as a parent and as governor, as a leader in our community, I stand on what is right and what is wrong. And there’s not a lot of gray area with me, David.