Tennessee pushing ‘slate of hate’ against LGBTQ community
Anti-LGBTQ lawmakers in the state of Tennessee are set to target the LGBTQ community again with a “slate of hate”– several bills that not only discriminate against LGBTQ people but other marginalized communities.
These measures range from defying the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage to a bathroom bill that would target transgender people.
What’s on the “slate of hate”?
Here is a list of the basket of measures the Tennessee legislature is planning to roll out:
1. SB 1282/HB 1369 or the “Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act”:
This bill would go up against the high court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that has become the law of the land for same-sex marriage.
2. SB 264/ HB 563, also known as “Business License to Discriminate” bills:
This bill– which had been pushed before in previous iterations but did not become laws– would allow taxpayer-funded discrimination.
They would prohibit cities and state agencies from laying down policies that would stop taxpayer funds from being used by anti-LGBTQ businesses, organizations, and contractors to discriminate in employment policies.
3. SB 1499/ HB 1274, allowing the Tennessee Attorney General to pay for legal costs or defend anti-transgender school policies:
Another bill on a comeback, would encourage school districts to deny transgender students access to appropriate bathrooms and locker rooms in K-12 schools.
4. SB 1297/ HB 1151, a bathroom bill:
Like other bathroom bills, this measure would impose criminal penalties on transgender and nonbinary people using restrooms and locker rooms.
However, the bill is disguised as a supposed ‘indecent exposure” bill.
5. SB 1304/ HB 836 and SB 848/ HB 1152, which would allow religiously-motivated discrimination in adoption:
These bills allow religious adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against prospective parents.
They bwould target qualified parents, in particular LGBTQ couples, interfaith couples, single parents, married couples wherein one has been previously divorced, and others that the agency has a religious objection.
Tennessee lawmakers pushing a “slate of hate”?
LGBTQ advocates from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and their coalition partner, the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP), issued a warning on the moves by anti-LGBTQ lawmakers in Tennessee.
The advocates learned of the measures as part of TEP’s first Advancing Equality on the Hill Day at the Cordell Hull Legislative Building.
In a statement, HRC said: “We’ve seen the impact of passing discriminatory legislation in North Carolina and across the country.”
“These measures will not only discriminate against Tennesseans, but open the state of Tennessee to extensive litigation and force taxpayers to pay the cost of discrimination,” they said.
The groups called on the LGBTQ community to attend the hearings with them to learn more and to protest these measures.