By KIMBERLEE KRUESI
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee would ban transgender athletes from participating in female college sports under legislation gaining traction inside the state’s GOP-controlled General Assembly. The proposal cleared key legislative hearings Wednesday in both the House and Senate despite objections from Democratic lawmakers. A day before, a bill that would impose impose penalties on public K-12 schools that violate the transgender athlete ban also advanced out of legislative committees. The measure is one of 17 bills that have been introduced this year in Tennessee targeting LGBTQ people — more than any other state in the country, according to civil rights activists.