Discriminatory legislation is rapidly moving forward in the Tennessee General Assembly. Next week, March 1-5, will be an important week in working to stop this. Please review the week that was and the week ahead and take action.
We know the business case against discriminatory legislation is being heard. We need to keep up the opposition and make sure the reasons are known. The best way to do that is to
ACTION: get MORE businesses to sign the open letter of Businesses Opposed to Discrimination.
Our testimony Wednesday on the impact on the economy, especially on the hospitality and tourism industry, was picked up widely by the media and was heard by legislators.
If you have signed, thank you. If you have not, there is still time. We are carefully monitoring the legislation moving forward and plan to release the letter officially to legislators and the media and the most impactful time. We continue to grow a strong list of corporate signers and small businesses from across the state.
Anti-Trans Student-Athlete Bill
After testimony on Wednesday in the Senate Education Committee, SB228 the anti-trans student-athlete bill moved out of committee and will be voted on by the full Senate on Monday evening.
We will be giving all Senators a Business Brief on the business and economic case against discrimination that includes the current signers of our open letter. We are hopeful that Senators will review it and carefully weigh their vote against passing this bill. There is not a case that can be pointed to and there are many factors that make the constitutionality of this bill doubtful.
ACTION: TEP has a direct contact campaign for Senators.
If the Senate passes the bill it will move to the House floor. We will be distributing our Brief to House members with the most up-to-date open letter.
If the House passes the bill we are expecting a quick signing by the Governor making the bill a law.
Anti-Trans Healthcare Bill
Also moving next week, the Anti-Trans Healthcare bill will be heard in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee on Wednesday.
ACTION: TEP has an email campaign here.
We need to say thanks.
- Sen. Raumesh Akbari laid out a fine system of questions and arguments about the anti-transgender student-athlete bill this week in the Senate Education Committee. We hope you watched the hearing (40:19) and heard her passionate and thoughtful closing argument against the bill.
- Rep. Eddie Mannis wrote a letter to the members of the House Education Administration Committee and then released it to the media opposing the bill. You can read a complete story on this from the Knoxville News. We thank Rep. Mannis, a Republican, for speaking out for the LGBT community and this shows the importance of representation.
- Rep. Torrey Harris visited the members of the Education Administration Committee prior to the vote and made the case for them to vote against the bill. Again, Harris, an LGBT Representative shows the importance of having LGBT people serving in the legislature where they can speak directly with their fellow colleagues.
ACTION: Please take a minute to thank them for their work against HB3/SB228, you can send them emails at
2021 Nashville LGBT Chamber bill tracklist:
There are several other caption bills that we are also monitoring and will move them to this list as we learn more about them.
SB228/HB3 by Sen. Hensley and Rep. Cepicky: “Anti-trans student-athlete bill”
This bill repeats the effort to prevent transgender students from participating in high school and middle school sports. It ties a student's gender to the original birth certificate. The "whereas" clauses attempt to pit transgender people against women's sports.
SB657/HB578 by Sen. Bowling and Rep. Ragan: “Anti-trans healthcare or hormone bill”
This bill criminalizes gender-affirming care for transgender youth.
SB193/HB372 by Sen. Bowling and Rep. Casada:
This bill allows employees of state or local government (which also includes public universities and colleges) to skip training or seminars that conflict with their values or religious beliefs. We believe that the bill provides a way of undermining LGBTQ-inclusive training sessions and seminars offered by government entities.
SB1229/HB529 by Sen. Rose and Rep. Moody:
This bill would require public schools to notify parents before offering any curriculum about sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill allows parents to opt their children out of such instruction.
SB1216/HB800 by Sen. Niceley and Rep. Griffey:
This bill censors LGBTQ content in public school textbooks and instructional materials. It's an updated version of the old "Don't Say Gay" bill.
SB1238/HB1177 by Sen. Pody and Rep. Jerry Sexton:
This legislation is an anti-transgender "bathroom" bill.
SB562/HB233 by Sen. Bowling and Rep. Leatherwood:
This bill appears to be a caption bill that would eventually carry explicitly anti-marriage equality language. It pertains to marriage licensing and definitions.
SB1208 by Sen. Pody:
"As introduced, prohibits this state and any political subdivision of this state, or any official of this state or a political subdivision, from creating, enforcing, or endorsing policies that respect or promote non-secular self-asserted sex-based identity narratives, sexual orientation orthodoxy, or non-secular marriage doctrine because the policies fail the Lemon test, as established by the United States Supreme Court in Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971)." Note: There is no House sponsor at this time.