Tuesday, May 24, 2011

TN Gov Signs Sweeping Anti-Gay Law

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has signed into law a bill that prohibits local municipalities in the state from adopting gay rights ordinances.  It effectively voids an existing Nashville law that prohibits the City from doing business with companies that discriminate against gays.  No municipality may enact a discrimination ordinance that protects any group not protected at the state level, i.e., gays.  The governor, along with his limited government Republican colleagues in the legislature, who totally hate invasive government regulations, passed this law at the insistence of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce. The following companies are on the Chamber board:   FedEx, AT&T, Comcast, DuPont, Pfizer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Caterpillar, KPMG, Whirlpool, Embraer, Alcoa, and United HealthCare. 

Once it became clear they couldn't ram this turd through without anyone noticing, several of the companies stated their opposition to the law in a last-ditch effort to avoid bad publicity.  Yesterday, which was the day the bill landed on the governor's desk, the Chamber reversed itself on the law stating:

“The Tennessee Chamber supports a standard regulatory environment at the state level as opposed to potentially conflicting local regulations covering employment practices. That principle was the only interest the Chamber had in this bill. Because HB600/SB632 has turned into a debate on diversity and inclusiveness—principles which we support—we are now officially opposing this legislation in its present form.”

What a load of bull. The "conflicting local regulations" and "standard regulatory environment" verbage is just lipstick on a pig.  Gays are the only group that are the subject of "conflicting local regulations."