ACTION ALERT - 3/5/21 - Major Week Upcoming, Current Status of Discriminatory Legislation, Release of Open Letter, Act Now

Advocacy Chamber News Release

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ACTION ALERT - 3/5/21 - Major Week Upcoming, Current Status of Discriminatory Legislation, Release of Open Letter, Act Now

The anti-trans athlete bill, a trans-youth healthcare ban that is listed as one of the worst in the country and ever proposed, and TWO bathroom bills.

That is what we will be facing next week in the Tennessee General Assembly. 


To guarantee that the business voice against discrimination is known and heard, we will be: 

Releasing the 2021 open letter to the media and legislators on 

Monday, March 8th at 11am. 

Join our live broadcast on Facebook, LinkedIn, or YouTube


If you have not signed you have until Sunday, March 7th at Midnight. 

ACTION: Sign the open letter of Businesses Against Discrimination by Sunday 11:59pm if you have not already done so. 

Share the signing opportunity. 

 

If you would like to make a business statement that will be included in the letter, or to possibly speak at the press conference, please email me. 


We know the business case against discriminatory legislation is being heard from the press coverage and the comments from legislators. We need to keep up the opposition and make sure the reasons are known. We need to continue to publicly speak out and oppose this legislation. Right now is the time for action, before bills move any further. 

 

Next Week - Bill info, action, and breakdown


SB 228/HB 3 (Hensley/Cepicky): “Anti-Trans Student-Athlete Bill” 

A bill to require that a student's gender for purposes of participation in a public middle school or high school interscholastic athletic activity or event be determined by the student's sex at the time of the student's birth, as indicated on the student's original birth certificate. 

Status: Senate Passed 03/01/21; Advanced to House Calendar & Rules Committee. Once scheduled the House will vote on the bill. The Governor is expected to sign. This could happen towards the end of next week. 

ACTION- TEP has an email campaign. We are urging businesses to directly contact the Governor and House members to voice opposition. 

We spoke at length about this bill this week, please see coverage below. 


SB 657/HB 578 (Bowling/Ragan): “Trans-Youth Healthcare Ban Bill”

A bill to prohibit facilitating sexual identity change therapy to a minor who has not entered puberty, and to prohibit sexual identity change therapy to minors who have entered puberty unless a parent or guardian has written recommendations for the therapy from at least three physicians. Violations are treated as child abuse. 

Status: Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee; Scheduled for House Criminal Justice Subcommittee on Wednesday, 03/10/21.

ACTION- TEP has an email campaign. Businesses should reach out to any and all legislators, especially in leadership, to express concerns and opposition to this bill. 

This bill stands out nationally in the criminal penalties it places on doctors and parents if they help trans-youth. Tennessee could become the first state to pass a bill like this. This bill is extreme and could bring devastating economic repercussions to the state, not to mention the impact that it would have on thousands of trans-youth. 


SB 1224/HB 1182 (Rose/Rudd): “Bathroom Signage Bill”

A bill to require entities that operate a building or facility open to the general public that allow a member of either biological sex to use any public restroom post notice of the policy at the entrances to the restrooms and the building. Establishes regulations for the required signage.

Status: Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee; Scheduled for House Public Service Subcommittee on Wednesday 03/10/21.

This bill is another attempt to institute a statewide anti-trans bathroom bill. This version requires you to post a sign at your entrance and on your bathrooms if you have inclusive bathroom usage policies and allow people to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as. Private businesses should be very concerned with the cost of this bill, the intrusive nature of this bill on business practices, and the blatant discrimination and issues it would cause in a business. 


SB 1367/HB 1233 (Bell/Zachary): “Bathroom Bill 2.0”

A bill to require public schools to provide a reasonable accommodation to a person who is unwilling or unable to use a multi-occupancy restroom or changing facility designated for the person’s sex located within a public school building or multi-occupancy sleeping quarters while

attending a public school-sponsored activity. “Reasonable accommodation” is defined as including but not limited to access to a single-occupancy restroom or changing facility. “Sex” is a person's biological sex determined at the time of birth. Establishes that a person who is denied reasonable accommodation has a private right of action against the public school.

Status: Referred to Senate Education Committee; Scheduled for House K-12 Subcommittee on Tuesday 03/09/21.

Another attempt on the bathroom and locker room bill with regard to public schools. If you are not provided a private bathroom to use you can sue the school. We think... This bill is very confusing but clearly discriminatory, and unneeded. 

 

This week- coverage and information to be aware of. 

  • Press Conference Opposing Anti-Trans Legislation Wednesday we joined equality coalition partners: ACLU, TEP, GLSEN, and HRC to speak to the concerted effort to discriminate against trans-youth. We heard from a trans person directly for the first time and his statement was powerful. I urge you to listen to it and also the economic and legal reasons that were given. This was a great breakdown of what we are facing, why it is discriminatory, and how absurd the legislation is. 
  • WBIR has coverage of the press conference. "They just want to play sports for fun"
  • We were alerted to a video from Williamson Inc. where they talk with the Williamson County delegation on the anti-trans legislation. It is an interesting discussion on why they feel these bills are needed and they admit as so many other legislators have, that they have not heard from or talked to trans people. The item that caught our attention was Republican Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson stated that he has not heard opposition from the business community. We alerted our members in Williamson County about this and it shows that businesses need to be direct and public in their opposition to this legislation. 
  • Wednesday I appeared on OpenLine and spoke about the work of the chamber and the anti-trans bills. We had a good conversation and the callers were respectful in their questions, the comments on social media were not. What was evident though is the misinformation and lack of understanding around trans issues. We have much work to do and need trans voices in the discussion. 
  • Friday the Tennessean released a conversation I had with them regarding the work of the Chamber and the advocacy that we do. In it, I open about the marginalization that is occurring for LGBT youth and how that can affect them. The message I hope they hear and we all need to amplify and share is; it gets better and we are working to create a better world for them. It is what keeps me going and what I hope will drive you to take action and help us stop discrimination. 
 

Last week’s coverage- 

 

Please engage this weekend and join us virtually Monday to share the message that discrimination has no place in business in Tennessee. We will need everyone if we are going to stop the wave of anti-LGBT bills that are upon us. Now is the time to act.

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Joe Woolley
CEO

Nashville LGBT Chamber
pronouns: He, Him, His
mobile: 615-585-0743
office615-507-5185  
e: joe@nashvilleLGBTchamber.org
wwww.nashvilleLGBTchamber.org

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