Tennessee businesses align against possible anti-LGBT bills

By January 3, 2017News Clips

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) –

In the new year, Tennessee businesses are uniting against discriminatory laws.

It comes in the wake of North Carolina’s so-called bathroom bill, which caused the state to lose out on some big business.

In Middle Tennessee businesses are joining forces to make sure that doesn’t happen here.

Many business owners told Channel 4 that it was an easy decision, but also one that surprises them. They said in 2017 it should be understood to not discriminate in the work place.

“We depend on tourism as much as any attraction in the state and we want to be as friendly as possible,” said Jim Bartoo with the Nashville Zoo.

Whether it is the zoo, a stroll down Broadway, or a Predators game at Bridgestone Arena, businesses are taking a stand through a coalition called Tennessee Thrives.

“I think the coalition is needed because there is some legislation out there that at least points at least to something different than being open and welcoming to everyone,” Bartoo said.

The coalition formed just weeks ago. More than 200 businesses of all sizes and types have already joined forces to raise awareness of an open and inclusive Tennessee.

Discrimination is a topic happening across the nation after North Carolina’s bathroom bill. The law targeted transgender people by forcing them to use bathrooms that correspond with their sex at birth.

The NBA moved its All-Star game out of Charlotte, NC, and many musicians boycotted playing in the state.

Some Tennessee legislators introduced a similar bill last year, but ultimately the bill’s sponsor decided to table the legislation.

Business owners told Channel 4 that Tennessee Thrives is a way to show not only those in the Volunteer State, but our tourists as well that they won’t discriminate against anybody.

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