Last year when North Carolina passed the most transphobic law in America, businesses ran like hell from the state (just like they did from Indiana) because who wants to do business with bigots? Cadillac does, apparently, but anyways…
To forestall any attempts at anti-LGBTQ legislation in Tennessee, 190 businesses have joined Tennessee Thrives, a coalition that wants to keep the state “welcoming for all people, regardless of race, sex, national origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The coalition includes huge-ass corporations like AT&T, Dow, Nissan and Viacom along with other familiar brands like AutoZone, FedEx, Jack Daniels and Warby Parker. It’s a smart pre-emptive move by the state’s pro-LGBT forces, especially considering that the state passed a law last April allowing mental health professionals to turn away LGBTQ clients (a move that caused the American Counseling Association to cancel their conference in the state). The state has temporarily shelved its own transphobic bathroom bill “to study the issue” though the bill’s sponsor said she currently has no plans to re-introduce the bill now that Trump won the election.
When asked about the Tennessee Thrives coalition, Dale Walker, president of the Tennessee Pastors Network, said, “Churches and Christians can play this game too. Churches can pull conventions. They don’t have to come to Nashville to spend their money, or any big city for that matter, that is not family friendly.”
His idea sounds a lot like the Christian video-recording company that decided to pre-emptively sue the state of Minnesota over the idea that they’ll one day have to treat LGBTQ clients like actual people. Churches can threaten to boycott states unless they pass anti-LGBT legislation, but we’re assuming that cash will win out over Christ, if push comes to shove. It certainly did in North Carolina and Indiana.