Nashville’s first female mayor is speaking out against pending legislation that would require transgender students statewide to use the bathroom and locker room that does not match their gender identity.
In addition to a bill awaiting the governor’s signature that would allow mental health professionals to turn away LGBT clients, state lawmakers on Wednesday resurrected a transphobic “bathroom bill” that had been effectively killed by being sent to a summer session just weeks earlier. […]
Barry, a Democrat elected last September, addressed the spate of anti-LGBT bills in a statement Thursday.
“This legislation doesn’t reflect Nashville’s values and doesn’t do anything to improve the quality of life for citizens of our city or state,” Barry said. “If some lawmakers don’t see the value in recognizing people’s dignity and privacy, I hope they can at least see the negative economic impact and potential loss of revenue to Nashville and the State of Tennessee.”
“We’ve seen the negative effects that similar laws in North Carolina have had on their economy, and we’ve already received indications that conventions might pull out of Nashville or eliminate our city from consideration should HB2414/SB2387 become law — resulting in a potential loss of over $10 million in state and local tax revenue and nearly $58 million in direct visitor spending removed from our economy.
“That is the loss of economic activity in just one sector of our city’s economy. Our future ability to attract film and television production will also be impacted, and we could expect to see other industry sectors impacted, as well. That’s quite a price to pay for legislation that would seem to hurt people — including some of our youngest and our most vulnerable — without actually benefitting anyone in the process. Instead of creating complex and confusing regulations for restrooms, or becoming the only state in the nation to allow discrimination by counseling professionals, the state should work with local governments to continue our economic growth, address traffic problems, and give our schools the resources and support they need to be successful.”
Tennessee’s Hate Bill has to do with supposedly protecting counselors from having to deal with *gasp* LGBT clients.
Last week the Tennessee legislature passed House Bill 1840/Senate Bill 1556. The bill, which has come to be known as Hate Bill 1840, will head to the governor’s desk any day now. As introduced, HB 1840 declared that no counselors “shall be required to counsel or serve a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with a sincerely held religious belief.” As amended, the bill that will go to the governor declares no counselor is required to serve a client who conflicts with a “sincerely held belief.”
The underlying fear appears to be that without protection, Tennessee’s Christian therapists would be “forced” to counsel — and by proxy, affirm — LGBT-identified people. Supporters of HB 1840 likely have nightmares of a self-righteous LGBT person knocking on an innocent, unsuspecting therapist’s door — ACLU lawyers in tow — waiting for the therapist to show reluctance or hesitancy so they can slap them with a lawsuit. Gotcha!
The truth is, before the bill was introduced, there had been no complaints brought to the Tennessee Counseling Association, the Licensing Board, or any other entity about such concerns. While it is important to acknowledge and respect Christian counselors’ anticipatory anxiety, it is for the most part unrealistic. In fact, Christian counselors’ fears of moral attack are unfounded and reflect a lack of understanding about the clients they are hoping to defend themselves against.
The University of North Carolina is advising administrators and staff to abide by the state’s controversial new law requiring transgender people to use the restroom or locker room that does not match their gender identity.
In an internal memo released Thursday, university president Margaret Spellings said that the 17 campuses in the UNC network must follow House Bill 2, which was rushed through the legislature in a single day-long special session and signed by the governor March 23.
“University institutions must require every multiple-occupancy bathroom and changing facility to be designated for and used only by persons based on their biological sex,” the memo stated.
Spellings advised that HB 2 doesn’t override any existing nondiscrimination protections for students and faculty — except when it comes to the kinds of facilities trans students are allowed to access.
The American Civil Liberties Union, Equality North Carolina, and Lambda Legal condemned Spellings’s position on HB 2 in a joint statement released later the same day.