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USA: Businesses urge Tennessee lawmakers not to pass legislation that could allow discrimination against LGBTQ people

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29 April 2019

Amazon, Taylor Swift outspoken against Tennessee's anti-LGBT bills

Author: Erik Larson & Bloomberg, Fortune

Amazon, Alliance Bernstein, the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, and Taylor Swift are among the broad swath of Nashville business interests urging lawmakers to reject a pair of anti-LGBT bills advancing quickly in the state legislature. Amazon.com Inc., which is planning a $230 million campus for as many as 5,000 new employees in Nashville, joined almost a dozen companies in opposing a bill that would allow faith-based adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples and another that would defend public schools’ authority to restrict transgender students’ access to bathrooms... Nashville-based Bridgestone North Americas also signed the letter, as did Dell Inc., Salesforce.com Inc., Postmates Inc... AllianceBernstein Holding LP... as one of the first big firms to publicly denounce the legislation... [T]he Tennessee Titans issued a statement cautioning state lawmakers that the legislation would “impact our ability to secure events like the 2019 NFL Draft, major conventions, major athletic contests and other events that benefit our local and state economy.

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24 April 2019

From Hilton to Nike, major companies want Tennessee lawmakers to block bills that discriminate LGBT people

Author: CBS News

Eleven large companies are urging Tennessee's Republican legislative leaders to oppose bills they say discriminate against LGBTQ people. The Human Rights Campaign announced Tuesday's letter from Hilton; IKEA North America Services; InterContinental Hotels Group; Lyft; Marriott International; MassMutual; Nike; Replacements Ltd.; Salesforce; Unilever; and Warby Parker. They wrote that bills targeting LGBTQ people are bad for employees and their families, customers and business. One bill would let adoption agencies refuse, based on written religious beliefs, to place children with parents. Another would bar "discriminatory action" by cities and state agencies against businesses with internal policies complying with state law. It's delayed until 2020.

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23 April 2019

Letter from 11 companies urging Tennessee lawmakers not to pass anti-LGBTQ bills

Author: Hilton, IKEA, Lyft & 8 other companies, Human Rights Campaign

HB 563/SB 364 would enshrine taxpayer-funded discrimination into law by prohibiting cities and state agencies from implementing policies that stop taxpayer funds from being used by businesses, organizations and contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ people in employment policies. HB 1152/SB 848 and HB 836/SB 1304 would allow child welfare agencies that receive taxpayer funds to refuse to make child placements with qualified, loving families, if the family doesn’t share all of the agency’s religious beliefs. HB 1151/SB 1297 could unfairly target transgender Tennesseans for harassment... HB 1274/SB 1499 would... mandat[e] that taxpayers foot the bill for schools determined to discriminate against transgender students in violation of federal civil rights law... [T]hese bills do not reflect the values of our companies.

... The business community, by and large, has consistently communicated to lawmakers at every level that bills that target LGBTQ people are bad for our employees and their families, bad for our customers and bad for business... It will also diminish the state’s draw as a destination for tourism, new businesses, and economic activity... Discrimination is wrong, and we believe it has no place in Tennessee or anywhere in our country. As companies that pride ourselves on being inclusive and welcoming to all, we strongly urge you to not advance these bills.

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