ACTION ALERT: Will you Sign-on to the Tennessee Businesses Against Discrimination Open Letter?

Advocacy Chamber News Release

Dear small business and corporate business members, we need you to take action. 

We are asking for signers of our open letter of Tennessee Businesses Against Discrimination

The letter this year makes the same case as years past, that anti-LGBT discriminatory legislation impacts the ability for businesses to attract, develop, and retain talent and harms the image of Tennessee as a welcoming place to live and work, and do business. 

There are over 15 bills we are tracking that clearly are or could be discriminatory. The bills targeting transgender youth are back again and have been in the news. Things are moving fast this year in the Legislature. With your help, we can hopefully stop it. 

You do not have to be a member of the Chamber or in the Middle Tennessee region to sign.  We are hopeful that all of our business members will sign. Please share this opportunity to sign the letter with other businesses that you know that support this. 

If you are a representative of a corporate member, please work within your company structure to share this info with those that make these types of decisions. They may have been contacted by us already if your company has signed in the past, but multiple points of contact on this are good. 

Here is the plan for the open letter and other information and action you can take. 

Signing - 

  • You can find the 2021 Tennessee Businesses Against Discrimination open letter here. Here are the links to the 2020 and 2019 letters for reference. 
  • Please read it and if you would like to sign-on fill out this form. 
    • On the form, you will be instructed to select if you are a corporate signer or small business signer. 
    • You will be asked to identify who is signing for the organization. If you need to take this to others to make the decision, please specify the person that makes the final decision on signing. 
    • There are a few other items we would like to gather from you, this process makes it easier to handle the logistics of so many signers and make sure we collect the correct information. 
  • We are again asking for statements if you would like to say something in addition to signing. You can see in the 2020 letter how we used and displayed that information. 
    • Additional opportunity for corporate signers with operations across multiple states
    • The open letter described and linked above is being organized by the Nashville LGBT Chamber Commerce, with a focus on Tennessee. 
    • Our partners on the national level, the Human Rights Campaign and Freedom for All Americans, have also released a business letter opposing discrimination across states - that letter will be re-released after our Tennessee business letter, with applicability to any state where these kinds of bills are moving. If you are a corporation and interested in signing this letter, please email Jessica Shortall at jessica@freedomforallamericans.org

Timeline - 

  • We have some companies already signed on and plan to add new signers as soon as possible when they come in. 
  • We plan to collect signers throughout the legislative session, but we are planning to release the letter to legislators and the media sometime during the first week of March. To guarantee you are on that release sign by Sunday, February 28th, 11:59 pm. 
  • We will keep you updated on the release details by email. 
  • When we release the letter we plan to have a virtual press conference where some signers will be asked to speak and read their statement. Again, this is similar to what we did last yearAt this event and in general, we will not speak directly for your company beyond the language of the letter and any statement you might provide to us.

Let me know if you have any questions. 

Thank you for your work making sure Tennessee remains a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive place. 

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Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce
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