Amazon Joins Business Opposition to Anti-LGBTQ Bills in Tennessee

April 23, 2019 • 5:53 pm

Today Amazon joined a growing number of major corporations who have signed an open letter opposing Tennessee’s anti-LGBTQ slate of bills. Tennessee lawmakers are pushing the most extreme anti-LGBTQ slate in the nation, with discriminatory legislation advancing this week. The open letter, organized by the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce with support from Freedom for All Americans, is signed by AllianceBernstein, Amazon, Bridgestone, Curb Records, Dell, Postmates, Salesforce, Warner Music Group, and over a dozen small businesses.

“Tennessee is on the brink of becoming the next North Carolina – and the first state in the nation to pass anti-LGBTQ legislation this year,” said Kasey Suffredini, President of Strategy at Freedom for All Americans. “Business leaders know that Tennessee can’t afford to face the economic consequences of laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people. These bills target LGBTQ people in virtually every area of their lives and are some of the most dangerous attacks on our community nationwide. We stand with the business community in opposition to any efforts to discriminate against LGBTQ Tennesseans and their families.”

“Tennessee is a great place to do business, and we want to keep it that way. These discriminatory bills would send our state in the wrong direction and create drastic consequences for our thriving economy,” said Joe Woolley, CEO of the Nashville LGBT Chamber. “All of these bills send the wrong message to the state’s LGBT workforce and their families, and any business looking to invest in our state. It is imperative that our legislature reject these discriminatory bills and ensure that Tennessee remains open for business to all.”

  • Three out of the six original anti-LGBTQ bills introduced this session could reach the Governor’s desk as soon as next week.
  • Today, the Tennessee Senate Judiciary committee voted 5-3 to pass SB 1499, which would encourage school districts to adopt anti-transgender policies that prohibit transgender students to access facilities that align with who they are, and would require the Tennessee Attorney General to either pay for legal costs or itself defend discriminatory anti-transgender school policies. Its House companion, HB 1274, is pending in the House Finance committee.
  • The Tennessee Senate Judiciary committee also approved SB 1304 by a vote of 6-2, which would allow taxpayer-funded child welfare services to discriminate against LGBTQ people and people of minority faiths, among others. The full House has already passed its House companion, HB 836.


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