NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Against opposition from business interests and LGBTQ activists, Tennessee legislators are continuing to advance homophobic and transphobic bills, the so called “Slate of Hate.”
The Tennessee House passed House Bill 1274, which encourages school districts to adopt policies preventing transgender students from using the restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity and would require the state attorney general to defend those policies in court. In neighboring North Carolina, when Roy Cooper (now governor) was attorney general, he refused to defend the infamous anti-LGBTQ House Bill 2 (HB2), which among other things restricted trans people’s use of restrooms in government buildings.
Tennessee’s Senate deferred action on discriminatory adoption legislation until next year. In early April the House passed a version allowing even state funded faith-based adoption agencies to discriminate against people who pose a conflict with the agency’s religious beliefs, including same-sex couples, members of other faiths, and more.
An open letter opposing the legislation has been signed by more than 100 business leaders and was organized by the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Freedom for All Americans. This past week the Senate punted on another anti-LGBTQ bill, though, deferring action on discriminatory adoption legislation until next year.
Companies opposing the legislation include Amazon, Bridgestone Americas, Dell Technologies, Genesco, Lyft, Nashville Predators, Nissan, Postmates, Salesforce, Tennessee Titans and Warner Music Group. Also, many clergy members from throughout the state have signed a statement opposing the anti-LGBTQ bills, and singer Taylor Swift has given $113,000 to the Tennessee Equality Project to fight the legislation.