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ACTION ALERT- Current Status of Discriminatory Legislation Tennessee Economy in Jeopardy

Advocacy Chamber News Release


ACTION ALERT - Current Status of Discriminatory Legislation

Tennessee Economy in Jeopardy

Hello members and friends. This email is to inform you of where we currently stand on anti-LGBT legislation at the Tennessee General Assembly. 


Discriminatory legislation that will harm the Tennessee economy is upon us at historic levels and everyone should be fully aware of the consequences and taking action, including educating everyone they can about the fallout that is coming. 

We updated people, including the press, with an online video earlier Friday (before Gov. Lee signed trans-athlete bill) to describe what we are facing in another format. You can view that video here


Our statement on the state of legislation and Governor Lee signing the Anti-Trans Athlete bill into law. -  

While the damage to trans children and youth is incalculable, Tennessee businesses will pay a very calculable price for this legislative hubris. Shame on our supposedly pro-business Governor and Legislature for spending their time and energy targeting trans children, when the state is still in economic crisis from the COVID pandemic, while risking further economic damage from passing such legislation.


It is a shame that the Tennessee Legislature is focused on discrimination and attacking trans-youth, instead of COVID-19 recovery and supporting our struggling small businesses. Our state is playing with fire in the form of boycotts and economic harm that will come with the passage of this bill and others that they are pushing.


Tennessee’s business community will pay the huge bill for legislated hate. We are all about to get burned by this unneeded legislation, the scar it will leave is looking worse than the one left in North Carolina after they passed the bathroom bill. Maybe the pain from that will make elected officials wake up and realize how wrong this was. They didn’t listen to businesses that made it clear this was bad, and they don’t care about the personal harm it is having on children or what Tennesseans are telling them is important to focus on, like the economy and education.

What is coming? 
Historic levels of discrimination. Record-setting in many ways, all bad.

Tennessee is: 

  • The state with the most anti-LGBT bills filed this year.
  • The state with the most bills filed ever, with over 70+ since 2015. 
  • The state with the most impactful trans-healthcare ban bill, that has criminal penalties for parents and doctors that seek to help trans-youth. 
  • The only state that has had a bathroom bill filed every year since North Carolina passed the bathroom bill in 2016. 
  • The only state that had a bathroom bill filed this year, and we have TWO bathroom bills up this year. 
  • If those bathroom bills pass, the only state that has passed a bathroom bill (and it look like we may pass both) since North Carolina in 2016. 
  • The state with the most to lose. Tennessee has so much going on in regards to business and tourism and we will be record-breaking in the level of economic harm and fallout around passing these bills. 

All of that, not to mention the personal harm that comes to those these bills target and discriminates, we should never forget about that important impact. 

That is the context of what we testified to on Wednesday in Senate Education against the Bathroom Bill 2.0

You can watch our testimony and hear the case we make against discriminatory legislation

Now that Governor Lee has signed the anti-transgender student-athlete bill we expect to quickly feel fallout regarding that action. We will make sure every impact is known in hopes it will stop other legislation from moving forward. 


Tennessee is on track to pass all of the discriminatory legislation and bring down dire economic consequences on the state. 

We need everyone to be aware of the situation and take action

  • Educate yourself on what is happening and the impact of the legislation. 
  • Spread the message to others. 
  • Take direct action with these items that our partners at the Tennessee Equality Project have going. 
  • If you are a business sign the open letter if you have not. We share the updated letter with legislators before every vote they take on discriminatory legislation. 
  • Make the economic case of what these bills will do to your business by contacting legislators directly

Media coverage: 

WKRN - Bill to restrict transgender healthcare before puberty advances out of Tennessee House committee - this story shows you the attack on a pediatrician that testified against the bill. 

Tennessean - 'Why do they hate us so much?': Frustration grows among transgender Tennesseans as bills targeting youth advance - an excellent point of view from trans youth. 

Nashville Business Journal - Profile on the work of the LGBT Chamber in our fight to stop this discrimination - (PDF/free version) this story really captures the work we are doing the impact that could be coming to Tennessee. 



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.



Joe Woolley

Nashville LGBT Chamber
pronouns: He, Him, His
mobile: 615-585-0743
e: joe@nashvilleLGBTchamber.org

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