The measure – SB 632/HB 600 – passed the legislature last week and was designed to remove protections for LGBT Tennesseans by prohibiting cities and counties from enacting discrimination bans. Since there are no state protections for sexual orientation or gender identity, the Governor’s signature of this bill becomes a green light for anti-LGBT discrimination across the state.
“Discrimination should have no place in the Volunteer State and the Chamber’s opposition to this law sent a strong signal that corporations are on the leading edge of positive change,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “In contrast Governor Haslam has put discrimination ahead of the state’s values and even business interests by signing this horrible legislation.”
Earlier today, the governor’s spokesman stated no decision had been made regarding the veto. It wasn’t until support for the bill apparently began to dwindle that he hastily signed the bill into law.
Major corporations spoke out against the bill and in favor of workplaces that respect and welcome all individuals. Since the bill passed late last week, Aloca, FedEx, AT&T, KPMG, UnitedHealth Group, Whirlpool, Comcast and other companies publicly disavowed the bill.