Tennessee Open Letter to STOP Discriminatory Legislation

As corporate citizens, we know Tennessee is a great place to do business. The General Assembly and the Administration have been good partners in this effort, through many business-friendly policies such as lowering taxes, consistently supporting a balanced budget, reforming our worker’s compensation system, and passing tort reform efforts.

Tennessee’s thriving economy is proof that these efforts have paid off. Tennessee tourism is breaking records, with visitors spending more than $20 billion to visit our state in 2017 and generating $1.8 billion in state and local sales tax revenue. We have one of the nation’s lowest state unemployment rates and are recognized as one of the top states for business investment.

Looking forward, it is critical that Tennessee maintain its national reputation as a leader in innovation, job creation, and talent development. As we recruit new talent and seek to retain our world-class workforce, we often face questions about whether our state is a welcoming and inclusive place to live for the LGBT community. It is both a business imperative and a part of our corporate values that our employees and their families, and potential employees, feel welcomed and included in the prosperity of our state.

Tennessee is open for business to all, and as corporate citizens, we want to keep it that way. Legislation that explicitly or implicitly allows discrimination against LGBT people and their families creates unnecessary liability for talent recruitment and retention, tourism, and corporate investment to the state. We’ve seen time and again that discriminatory policies that negatively impact LGBT people and their families have drastic economic consequences, and such policies would surely put Tennessee at an economic disadvantage.

To add your business to this list please email joe@nashvillelgbtchamber.org 

We ask our legislative leaders to help us continue to make Tennessee a welcoming and inclusive state to all people.

We appreciate your public service and look forward to continuing our fruitful partnership.

Corporate Signers-

  1. AllianceBernstein
  2. Amazon
  3. Bridgestone Americas
  4. Buckingham Management, LLC
  5. CMT
  6. Concord
  7. Curb Records
  8. Dell Technologies
  9. Discovery, Inc.
  10. Eventbrite
  11. Exploration
  12. Genesco
  13. Mars Inc.
  14. Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp
  15. Nashville International Airport
  16. Nashville Predators
  17. Nashville Soccer Club
  18. Nissan North America
  19. Postmates
  20. Lyft
  21. Ryman Hospitality Properties
  22. Salesforce
  23. ServiceSource
  24. TechNet
  25. Tennessee Titans
  26. Trillium Asset Management
  27. Unilever
  28. Warby Parker
  29. Warner Music Group

TN Small Business Signers-

  1. 11seventy
  2. 2nd Chance Insurance, LLC
  3. 3rd POWER Amplification, LLC
  4. AffordableInsuranceQuotes.com
  5. Allegro Member Solutions, Inc.
  6. Angelfish Arts
  7. The Artist’s Circle
  8. bam! social business, LLC.  
  9. Batch Nashville, LLC
  10. Belcourt Theatre
  11. Big Frog Custom T-shirts
  12. Brinnovate Digital
  13. Butcher & Bee
  14. Cadium Music Publishing
  15. Cannery Ballroom
  16. Christina R. Perkins, LCSW
  17. Clemmons & Clemons, PLLC
  18. CodeScience
  19. Coffee Brake, Inc.
  20. Conjure
  21. Covenant of the Cross
  22. The Crag
  23. Cumberland Property Investments
  24. Deb Palmer George Consulting
  25. Dickinson Wright, PLLC
  26. Diversity Builder, Inc
  27. dkupish production, LLC
  28. Dog and Duck
  29. Element Salon
  30. EurAupair Multicultural Child Care Plans of Knoxville
  31. Events R Us Photography
  32. Exit Realty Elite
  33. Fleet Street Pub
  34. Flemmings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar
  35. FLWR Shop
  36. Focus Mid-South
  37. Focus Middle Tennessee
  38. Frothy Monkey
  39. GasLamp Antiques and Decorating Mall
  40. Good Neighbor Festivals
  41. Graceful Tables
  42. Green Building Management Services, LLC
  43. The High Watt
  44. HighHorse
  45. Home Run Pet Care
  46. Hyatt Place Nashville Downtown
  47. Indian Lake Animal Clinic
  48. Interprofessional Health Services, LLC
  49. JayKillEvents
  50. Jeffrey C. Kovalski, PLLC
  51. KJB Security Products Inc.
  52. Levy’s, Inc.
  53. MediCopy
  54. Mercy Lounge
  55. Mott Counseling Services
  56. MP Dezgn Technology Solutions
  57. Music City Tents
  58. Nashville Ballet
  59. Nashville Cares
  60. Nashville Children's Theatre
  61. Nashville Computer Guru
  62. Nashville In Harmony
  63. No Quarter
  64. Noah E. Spiegel Consulting
  65. Odark30studio
  66. One
  67. Out & About Nashville, Inc.
  68. Overlook Nashville
  69. Oz Arts Nashville
  70. Parana River Group
  71. Peace Love and Paws
  72. Pecker’s Bar & Grill
  73. Rachel + Winfree Data Analytics Consulting
  74. Rager Adolescent Health
  75. Ray Rico Freelance
  76. The RayNa Corporation
  77. Ron Sanford Productions
  78. Sanctuary Yoga
  79. Shenanigoats, LLC
  80. Skillset Organizing
  81. Spray Pal
  82. STF Events and Catering
  83. Strategic Hospitality
  84. Sustainable Food Policy Alliance
  85. Synchronous Health
  86. Tennessee Performing Arts Center
  87. TNB-Fitness, LLC
  88. Triumph Strategies
  89. Turnip Truck
  90. Two Old Hippies
  91. Weatherford Enterprises, LLC
  92. White & Rhodes, P.C.
  93. Zeus Enterprises LLC.

Individual Business Statements

AllianceBernstein: “AB chose to move to Tennessee because we believe it is a welcoming state that is focused on growing jobs, incomes and the tax base, which will improve lives for all Tennesseans. We believe strongly in the need for continued investments in education, safety and infrastructure for all. The bills being debated in the current session of the legislature send a clear message to certain constituencies that they are not welcome. Other states have tried to pass similar bills, and this has proven to be anti-growth, anti-jobs and against the interests of the citizens of those states.”

Amazon: “Amazon has a long history of supporting equality and we’re opposed to laws that discriminate or encourage discrimination."

Concord: The legislation currently being considered by the Tennessee State Assembly — that could be on the Governor’s desk as early as this week— is a threat to the inclusivity that makes the music business the soul of Music City. Ultimately, it could even jeopardize the continued growth of the music business here. Concord is one of the most recent music companies to make a home in Nashville, but we already have a substantial presence and are looking forward to doubling our Nashville staff by the end of next year. We strongly support the other local organizations, companies and elected officials that have spoken out against these bills that could threaten the liberties and rights of our LGBTQ friends and colleagues. We do not want to see equality in Tennessee take a giant leap backwards. We can do better.

Curb Records: “As a former elected official, a Republican and a Christian, and as founder and Chairman of Curb Records and the Curb Foundation, I cannot believe that our legislators would put our brand new Governor in a position to have to consider potentially discriminatory legislation that could involve taxpayer funds.”

Mars Petcare: At Mars, we believe our business and our community are at their best when we embrace and celebrate all people. We firmly believe that everyone is equal and that every person deserves to be treated with respect, dignity and fairness.We value our presence across the state of Tennessee and continue to invest here as it has been a great place to do business.  Discrimination has no place in our business or our laws. We strongly oppose the bills being considered that would negatively impact our entire community and the thriving business environment that we currently have. We respectfully ask the legislature to defeat these anti-business bills.

Nashville Predators: “The Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena oppose discrimination of any kind.  In an effort to keep our state vibrant with potential for tremendous economic and social growth, we proudly support Tennessee Thrives. We have seen our city and state stand with us during NHL All-Star Weekend and the NHL Stanley Cup Final and we have witnessed lower Broadway embrace the incredible volume of fans for the SEC during the Men’s and Women’s basketball tournaments. Passing discriminatory legislation would limit revenue for the city of Nashville and the state of Tennessee by inhibiting our ability to secure events like those and future events such as league marquee events, NCAA Games, award shows and countless potential concerts. We strongly encourage our elected officials to keep us on an inclusive path that protects the rights of all Tennessee citizens.”

Nashville Soccer Club: “As a major league sports club approaching our inaugural season in Major League Soccer, we carefully selected diversity and inclusion as two of our core values as an organization. We cannot and do not condone discrimination of any form, or support legislation that explicitly or implicitly allows discrimination against LGBTQ people and their families. Our team, and we believe our city, should be open to all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, ethnic origin or race, and we stand as proudly with the LGBTQ community as we do with all other communities.”

Postmates VP of Global Public Policy & Strategic Communications, Vikrum Aiyer: “The politics of division that sailed through the legislature this week not only undermines the equal dignity of all persons and emboldens policies of discrimination -- but also it undercuts the economic prospects of hundreds of dedicated community members who live and are employed by companies like Postmates. We are extremly concerned passage of these bills could harm job growth for us, especially as we have economic incentive packages with the State to expand our presence; and as tech is in a worldwide race for top talent, Tennessee should not give companies any reason to reconsider where they call home. We’re taking a stand with our merchants, our Postmates fleet, our customers, our small business owners, our veterans, and our brothers and sisters, to say simply: no matter your race, color, creed, or food order — we stand with you.”

ServiceSource: “Although our company is headquartered in Colorado, we have a significant presence in Nashville (over 700 employees in the city center) and we were recently made aware of the proposed legislation that would disadvantage our LGBT community members, as well as the open letter to the legislature sponsored by your organization. We at ServiceSource are committed to equality and believe that policies and laws that promote tolerance and equal opportunity are critical not only to business but to society. “

Technet: “Legislation explicitly or implicitly targeting LGBTQ people is an economic liability for Tennessee, and it negatively impacts the state’s ability to recruit and retain the best and brightest employees. After all, technology companies are engaged in a worldwide fight for the top talent – talent that has the choice of where to work or begin the next startup. Tennessee shouldn't make it harder to compete for these individuals and convince them to call the state home.”

Tennessee Titans: “The Tennessee Titans oppose discrimination in any form. We are long-standing supporters of Tennessee Thrives. Discriminatory legislation hurts all of us. It also impacts 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. It also weakens our ability to recruit new business and industry to Nashville and to Tennessee. We would encourage our elected officials to keep us on a path that protects all our citizens, our growth and our economy.”

Warner Music Group: "WMG is proud of its longstanding presence in Tennessee. The continued success and growth of our business here depends on our ability to recruit and retain a best-in-class, diverse workforce. We often receive questions about whether Tennessee is a welcoming and inclusive place to live for the LGBT community. These bills send a clear message that LGBT artists, songwriters and employees are not welcome.”

This letter was organized by the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Freedom for All Americans.