Tennessee gov who opposed transgender bill criticizes Obama

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FILE -- This March 27, 2013, file photo shows Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam during a news conference in Nashville, Tenn. Haslam has struggled almost from the start of his administration to fulfill a campaign pledge to avoid handling matters relating to Pilot Flying J, the truck stop chain his family owns. Now, an FBI investigation of alleged fraud by the sales staff at the nation's largest diesel retailer has brought increased scrutiny and raised more questions about links between the governor and Pilot.(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who opposed a transgender bathroom bill in the Tennessee Legislature, is speaking out against a directive by President Barack Obama’s administration that public schools must allow students to use facilities consistent with their gender identity.

Haslam said in a statement Monday that he disagrees with what he called a “heavy-handed approach.” The governor said such sensitive issues should be handled by local school boards – and not by the state or the federal government.

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The Tennessee bill seeking to require students to use restrooms and locker rooms corresponding to the gender listed on their birth certificates was withdrawn before the end of the legislative session last month to allow legal challenges to play out in other states that have passed similar measures.

*Photo via TNGOP.org