Tennessee's 2019 Slate of Hate: Anti-LGBTQ bills in the General Assembly

Tennessee is consistently one of the top states for anti-LGBTQ legislation introduced every year.  2019 is no exception.  Here is a list of bills to watch.

SB848/HB1152 by Sen. Hensley and Rep. Ragan.  This bills protects private adoption agencies that discriminate against prospective parents based on the religious or moral views of the agency.

SB1304/HB836 by Sen. Pody and Rep. Rudd.  This bill is similar to the previous bill. 

SB364/HB563 by Sen. Gardenhire and Rep. Zachary.  The Business License to Discriminate bill.  The bill casts businesses rather than the LGBTQ community as possible victims of discrimination.  Government would not be able to disadvantage businesses in public contracts or grants if the internal policies of the business or nonprofit are discriminatory.  In other words, it opens the door to taxpayer funded discrimination.

SB1297/HB1151 by Sen. Pody and Rep. Ragan.  On its face, this bill seems to be about indecent exposure.  But it is a way of criminalizing trans and nonbinary people in restrooms and locker rooms. 

SB1499/HB1274 by Sen. Hensley and Rep. Holt. This bill is similar to a bill last year that required the Attorney General to defend school districts that engage in anti-transgender bathroom discrimination.  

SB1282/HB1369 by Sen. Pody and Rep. J. Sexton.  The Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act is back.  Earlier in the week, we saw evidence in the Cordell Hull Building that such a bill was being considered. 

What to do:

Watch for social media and email alerts from TEP for specific action to take as the bills are moving through committee.

Consider attending the next Advancing Equality Day on the Hill on March 5.  Email us at inf[email protected] if you want to attend or serve as a district captain.

Make a contribution to support our work.  Professional lobbying and organizing to produce a coordinated effort is not free.  Help us  fight back.



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  • Daria Christine
    commented 2019-03-06 07:16:23 -0600
    We’ve been around since the dawn of time; we’re not going away.
  • Bebbie Minter
    commented 2019-02-14 14:37:53 -0600
    As I have said before, I am straight; I was born that way. Thankfully, when I was first around LGBTQI persons, and asked questions, my mother always responded kindly, and with facts that were phrased so that I could understand them. The first answers were as simple as “People are alike/different in many ways. I am straight.

    I will always support equal rights, because I understand that is what our Constitutional Republic was founded on, and now exists to ensure for ALL. I will measure myself by, and choose my friends by the content of each our character.
  • Emma Lugo
    commented 2019-02-13 08:46:43 -0600
    Chris hi this is Emma I am just wondering about these bills. Are these just show bills designed to draw attention to their sponsors positions or do they have teeth? What is the level of support for these bills and what’s the chance of them being moved out of Committee?

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