Proposed Discriminatory Tennessee Anti-LGBT Bills, Risk State’s Welcoming Reputation for Businesses


TN Residents, Businesses, and Lawmakers Who Share Our Vision of a Fair and Welcoming State Should Reject HB1840 and HB2414

In a number of states throughout the country during the past year, so-called “religious freedom” bills have targeted state LGBT residents. In the process, as the Washington Post described today, states such as Indiana, North Carolina, and Georgia have seen their contentious debates negatively affect their state’s reputation and damaged or endangered their state businesses, tourism, and convention industries.

As the Tennessee legislature considers two discriminatory pieces of legislation—the HB1840 anti-LGBT counseling legislation and the HB2414 bill targeting transgender students in TN—the question remains why Tennessee wants to become “the next” state to enter into the contentious national debate surrounding LGBT equality and religious freedom legislation?

According to Chris Sanders, Executive Director of the Tennessee Equality Project, “These bills represent not only a direct attack on the LGBT residents of Tennessee, but a direct threat to our state’s reputation as a place that is welcoming for business and tourism. We call on all Tennessee residents, businesses, and lawmakers who share our vision of a fair, hospitable, and welcoming state to reject these discriminatory bills as the wrong direction for our state.”

About the proposed anti-LGBT legislation

Both HB1840 and HB2414 exemplify the most intrusive forms of government overreach, trafficking in fear-mongering, rather than facts, around LGBT issues.

HB1840 would put the state in the position of micromanaging professional standards of the counseling profession—a profession that already adheres to a strict code of ethics—while also limiting the access of clients to counselors when they are most vulnerable. HB2414, meanwhile, would represent further state disruption of local school districts that are making common sense accommodations for their students and would go so far as to regulate a student’s access to restrooms.

Both bills are supposed “solutions” in search of a problem, representing new and alarming efforts to carve out enclaves of anti-LGBT discrimination after the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court ruling granted same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide.

The Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) is a statewide organization dedicated to advancing the civil rights of Tennessee’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. For more information, go to

[From a News Release]

banner ad