HRC announced that eleven major corporations have signed onto an open letter to Tennessee lawmakers opposing the anti-LGBTQ “Slate of Hate” moving through the legislature. The signers are Hilton, IKEA North America Services, LLC, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Lyft, Marriott International, MassMutual, Nike, Inc. Replacements, Ltd., Salesforce, Unilever and Warby Parker.
“The anti-LGBTQ ‘Slate of Hate’ being considered in Tennessee is about as discriminatory as they come. These bills would harm LGBTQ Tennesseans and signal that Tennessee is closed for business,” said Beck Bailey, Acting Director of the Workplace Equality Program at the Human Rights Campaign. “We are grateful to the corporations that have signed this letter opposing these harmful bills, and we implore Tennessee’s lawmakers to heed their warning. The Volunteer State needs only look east toward North Carolina to see how anti-LGBTQ legislation can harm a state’s residents, economy and reputation. Tennessee should not repeat North Carolina’s mistake and lawmakers should not advance these bills any further.”
“We believe that anti-LGBTQ legislation will make it far more challenging for our businesses to recruit and retain the nation’s best and brightest workers and attract the most talented students from across the country,” said the companies in the letter. “It will also diminish the state’s draw as a destination for tourism, new businesses, and economic activity.”
The anti-LGBTQ “Slate of Hate” includes several anti-transgender bills and legislation that would create licenses to discriminate. HB 563/SB 364 would enshrine taxpayer-funded discrimination into law by prohibiting cities and state agencies from implementing policies that stop taxpayer funds from being used by businesses, organizations and contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ people in employment policies. HB 1152/SB 848 and HB 836/SB 1304 would allow child welfare agencies that receive taxpayer funds to refuse to make child placements with qualified, loving families, if the family doesn’t share all of the agency’s religious beliefs. HB 1151/SB 1297 could unfairly target transgender Tennesseans for harassment in public places. HB 1274/SB 1499 would require the Tennessee Attorney General to either pay for legal costs or itself defend discriminatory anti-transgender school policies - mandating that taxpayers foot the bill for schools determined to discriminate against transgender students in violation of federal civil rights law.
HRC is proud to work alongside the Tennessee Equality Project in advancing LGBTQ equality in Tennessee and fighting against any legislative attacks from the Capitol.