Tennessee Governor Signs Bill Promoting Discrimination Into Law
May 24, 2011
In an apparent attempt to score cheap political points, Tenn. Governor Bill Haslam has ignored the business community and signed into law a bill that wipes out county and city anti-discrimination laws, despite the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry reversing their earlier support and now opposing the bill. The measure – SB 632/HB 600 – passed the legislature last week and was designed to remove protections for LGBT Tennesseans by prohibiting cities and counties from enacting discrimination bans. Since there are no state protections for sexual orientation or gender identity, the Governor’s signature of this bill becomes a green light for anti-LGBT discrimination across the state.
Earlier in the day yesterday, the governor’s spokesman stated no decision had been made regarding the veto. It wasn’t until support for the bill apparently began to dwindle that he hastily signed the bill into law.
Major corporations spoke out against the bill and in favor of workplaces that respect and welcome all individuals. Since the bill passed late last week, Aloca, FedEx, AT&T, KPMG, UnitedHealth Group, Whirlpool, Comcast and other companies publicly disavowed the bill.