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Senate Prioritizes Legislation To Protect Children

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

This information comes from the office of 28th District State Sen. Joey Hensley, MD, R Hohenwald, who represents Giles, Lewis, Maury and Marshall counties.

Legislation that would prohibit minors from undergoing irreversible and harmful medical procedures to change their gender identity is one step closer to becoming law.

"Senate Bill 1, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson and which I co-sponsored was approved in the Senate Health Committee .

"The bill seeks to ban medical interference that alters a child’s hormonal balance and procedures that remove body parts to enable the minor to identify as a gender different from their biological sex."

This legislation is about protecting children from harmful, life-altering and experimental medical procedures with unknown long-term effects.

Children who have these procedures are forfeiting healthy reproductive systems and subjecting themselves to lifelong hormone treatment. The weight of these decisions is too heavy for children.

"As a society, we understand that minors need limitations, so we place many age-restrictions on activities for children that can have lifelong consequences such as smoking, drinking alcohol, buying lottery tickets and even getting tattoos," Hensley said.

"It is reasonable to also put age-restrictions on these transformational elective medical procedures." Hensley said.

If passed, a healthcare provider who violates the law can be sued in civil court by the minor injured, the parent of the minor injured or the Attorney General within 30 years of the violation. Providers found to be in violation could face up to a $25,000 penalty per violation and have their medical license restricted.

The legislation ensures that doctors can still prescribe hormone treatment to minors for medically necessary purposes and makes exceptions for children born with chromosomal anomalies or congenital defects.

The legislation advances to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Legislation protecting children from exposure to sexually explicit adult entertainment passes Judiciary

Another bill that seeks to protect children from inappropriate activities was approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"Senate Bill 3, sponsored by Johnson, and which I co-sponsored, aims to protect children from being exposed to sexually explicit performances.

"It would restrict adult cabaret performances that appeal to a prurient interest from being performed on public or private property if kids could be around to see it," Hensley said in his weekly column.

Under the bill, private establishments, such as bars or restaurants, that host sexually explicit shows must require patrons to show ID upon entry to ensure they are age 18 or older. Johnson says this is a common-sense protection that provides clarity regarding what performances are not appropriate for children.

This legislation is about protecting children. There are certain performances, movies, and places that are inappropriate for children. Just as current law prohibits strip clubs from admitting children, this legislation would also prohibit sexually explicit adult entertainment from being performed on public property or any non-age-restricted private property where a minor could be present.

"This is a common-sense measure with broad support from Tennesseans," Hensley said.

"It also gives confidence to parents that they can take their kids to a public or private show and will not be blindsided by a sexualized performance."

A violation of this bill would result in a Class A misdemeanor, and a second or subsequent offense would result in a Class E felony.

The legislation now advances to the Senate floor to be considered by the full Senate.

Sen. Hensley may be contacted at 425 Rep. John Lewis Way N., Suite 742, Nashville, Tenn., 37243. His office telephone number is 615 741 3100. His toll free telephone number is 1 800 449 8366, extension 13100 and his fax number is 615 253 0231.

His district address is 855 Summertown Highway, Hohenwald, Tenn., 38462. His home telephone number is 931 796 2018 and his cell phone is 931 212 8823. His email is: sen.

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