This Week’s Developments in LGBTQ Nondiscrimination

March 8, 2019 • 4:11 pm

Tennessee lawmakers push dangerous anti-LGBTQ agenda; Support for LGBTQ nondiscrimination makes sense for American companies; New research shows record high percentage of Americans identify as LGBTQ 


WASHINGTON – Tennessee lawmakers continue to push through a harmful slate of legislation that aims to strip rights from the state’s LGBTQ residents. The bills will impact everything from marriage equality to LGBTQ families’ ability to adopt. There is a growing chorus of support for expanding LGBTQ rights among major American companies. And new research suggests that 4.5% of the U.S. population now identifies as LGBTQ. Freedom for All Americans’ Weekly LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Update has all the latest developments that should be on your radar:


Tennessee Lawmakers Could Cost State Millions in Lost Revenue:
Freedom for All Americans statement:
Tennessee could become the first state in the nation to pass anti-LGBTQ legislation this year, including the next generation of North Carolina’s highly controversial HB2 which opened the door to harassment of transgender people in public places. Tennessee lawmakers are hastily pursuing a slew of anti-LGBTQ bills in hearings that took place this week, including legislation that could lead to harassment of transgender people in public places, undermine the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, and allow businesses and adoption agencies a broad license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, among others.

“A small group of Tennessee lawmakers appear bound and determined to advance an anti-LGBTQ agenda that is out of step with Tennessee values,” said Kasey Suffredini, President of Strategy for Freedom for All Americans. “These bills target the marriages, families, and basic welfare of Tennesseans’ neighbors, family members, and friends who happen to be LGBTQ. We’ve seen time and again that discrimination comes at a high cost, and Tennessee can’t afford the economic consequences. We urge Tennessee lawmakers to reject state-sponsored discrimination and stop these attacks on LGBTQ people and their families.”

To get a better sense of how LGBTQ Americans experience discrimination every single day, please visit Faces of Freedom – a new resource that elevates the stories of LGBTQ people and allies. The following are stories of real LGBTQ Tennesseans who live their lives authentically, despite their state’s continued attempts to undermine their freedom:

Brandon Thomas

Brody Ray

Danielle & Jennifer Hounshell


Supporting LGBTQ Equality is Fundamental for American Companies:
In a new Harvard Business Review op-ed, Freedom for All Americans’ Director of Corporate Engagement Jessica Shortall describes why so many American businesses are supporting LGBTQ rights.

“For many years, businesses have been working to improve their brands and their internal practices on LGBTQ issues, investing in culture, benefits, and marketing to welcome LGBTQ workers and customers, and to telegraph inclusion and openness. Political activism has been slower in coming. In recent years, however, something has shifted: more companies are speaking up on public policy impacting the LGBTQ community, and many are doing so in places where they face stiff headwinds, putting their brands and political relationships on the line — a pointed action in a climate where legal and political debates continue over whether businesses can refuse to serve LGBTQ people.”


Report Estimates 4.5% of Americans Identify as LGBTQ:
The Williams Institute of UCLA released a report this week which takes an in-depth look at the American LGBTQ community. In it, it’s estimated, with data used from a Gallup survey, that approximately 4.5% of the U.S. population identifies as LGBTQ. The report also assessed where LGBTQ Americans live by state, their socioeconomic status, and education level. Research like this is important and serves as a reminder that LGBTQ Americans are every race, every religion, and live in every corner of the country.

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