A few weeks ago, Instinct reported on several anti-LGBTQ bills working their way through the Tennessee state legislature that have come to be known as the ‘slate of hate.’
Pop star Taylor Swift brought the national spotlight to the issue when she donated $113,000 to the Tennessee Equality Project in early April.
Here’s an update on some of the bills that would negatively affect LGBTQ Tennesseans.
HB 1151 puts transgender and non-binary people at increased risk of harassment by adding public restrooms, changing rooms and locker rooms to the state’s indecent exposure laws.
In its original form, the bill had specific anti-trans language saying there would be no exception for folks with a diagnosis of “gender dysphoria, gender confusion, or similar conditions.” While explicit anti-trans language has been removed, LGBTQ advocates worry the law will still be used to arrest trans people.
The legislation has passed in the state Senate and House, and heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.
Another anti-trans bill, HB 1274, has passed in the state House and the Senate is expected to take it up soon.
The legislation would push school districts to keep trans students from using the bathrooms that align with their gender identity. The legislation also requires the state Attorney General to defend discriminatory anti-transgender laws.
The sponsor of HB 836 has pulled his own bill from consideration even though the legislation had passed in the state House already.
The bill would allow state contractors who receive taxpayer funds for providing adoption and foster care services to refuse to place children with LGBT parents if the agency’s religious beliefs didn’t approve.
By spiking the bill, the legislation will now be shelved until the next legislative session.
And the so-called “Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act,” has also, thankfully, stalled.
The bill aimed to void recognition of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell ruling on same-sex marriage based on the premise that Tennessee has its own constitutional amendment banning marriage equality.
Many major companies like Hilton, IKEA North America Services, LLC, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Lyft, Marriott International, MassMutual, Nike, Inc. Replacements, Ltd., Salesforce, Unilever and Warby Parker have signed a letter opposing the ‘slate of hate.’
Major corporations signed an open letter opposing Tennessee's anti-LGBTQ “State of Hate," including:
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) April 24, 2019
Additionally, the Tennessee Titans have also come out against the anti-LGBTQ bills saying:
The Tennessee Titans oppose discrimination in any form. We are long-standing supporters of Tennessee Thrives. Discriminatory legislation hurts all of us. It also impacts our ability to secure events like the 2019 NFL Draft, major conventions, major athletic contests and other events that benefit our local and state economy. It also weakens our ability to recruit new business and industry to Nashville and to Tennessee. We would encourage our elected officials to keep us on a path that protects all our citizens, our growth and our economy.
During this past weekend's NFL draft, the Tennessee Titans took a stand against LGBTQ discrimination in their state. The team spoke out against the oncoming "Slate of Hate," a set of anti-LGBTQ bills that is making its way through Tennessee legislature.https://t.co/0Eb90qkqRX
— Believe Out Loud (@BelieveOutLoud) April 29, 2019