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The Nation Eyes Tennessee as Anti-LGBT Bills Face Additional Hearings

by Ryan Wilson April 05, 2016

This could be a crucial week for the economic future of Tennessee as we watch several critical hearings in the state. Two anti-LGBT bills face votes in Tennessee, while major economic and political fallout continues to grow in North Carolina for passing just one anti-equality measure.

House Bill 2414 and its Senate companion, SB 2387, would deny transgender students in Tennessee access to bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. These disturbing and unnecessary bills apply to all public schools, both K-12 and public universities in Tennessee.

On Tuesday, April 5, the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to consider the fiscal impact that SB 2387 would have to the state budget if they become law. Tennessee stands to lose at least 3 billion dollars in federal funding if this law passes, including at least $1 billion in education funding since it would put Tennessee schools in direct violation of Title IX.

On Wednesday, April 6, the House Education Administration & Planning committee could consider a motion to reconsider their actions from a previous hearing where legislators decided to send HB 2414 to study the issue over the summer before making a decision. If the committee reconsiders their action, the bill could move forward again, putting this dangerous piece of anti-transgender legislation back on track toward passing the House.

Also this week, the House is expected to consider HB 1840 which would allow licensed counselors in private practice to use their own religious beliefs as an excuse for terminating care or referring away clients because of moral objections to how they identify. This bill has already passed the Senate despite testimony at hearings opposing this bill and is dangerously close to becoming law.

These anti-LGBT laws continue to gain traction in Tennessee despite the continued fallout in the neighboring southern state of North Carolina. Already, over 120 business leaders have signed a letter demanding the repeal of North Carolina’s HB2. Conference planners have begun rescheduling their meetings in other states, the state’s federal funding could be at risk and the NCAA and NFL has stated that North Carolina could lose future sporting events if the bill is not repealed.

If you live in Tennessee, contact legislators now opposing anti-LGBT legislation in your state.

For more information about how to get involved in Tennessee, contact HRC’s Senior Regional Field Organizer Ryan Wilson at ryan.wilson@hrc.org.

Ryan Wilson
Ryan Wilson


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