April 26, 2019, (LifeSiteNews) — A letter to Tennessee lawmakers authored by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s most powerful LGBT lobbying organization — and signed by some of the country’s largest corporations aims to derail several pieces of legislation that protect religious liberty and conscience rights.
Among the signatories are Hilton, IKEA North America Services, InterContinental Hotels Group, Lyft, Marriott International, MassMutual, and Nike.
The letter claims that the proposed bills target gay, lesbian, and transgendered people and ominously advises lawmakers that the new laws will “diminish the state’s draw as a destination for tourism, new businesses, and economic activity.”
The bills in question either clarify laws already on the books or shore up religious liberty and conscience protections now under increasing assault from LGBT groups.
- H.B. 1151 would prohibit indecent exposure in single-sex, multi-person bathrooms and changing rooms. Critics have labeled this a “bathroom bill” because males identifying as females who undress in female facilities risk exposing themselves to criminal prosecution.
- H.B. 1152/S.B. 848 and H.B. 836/S.B. 1304 would protect welfare agencies that, because of their religious beliefs, refuse to place children in gay or lesbian households.
- H.B. 1274/S.B. 1499 would authorize the state’s attorney general to cover the legal costs or itself defend public schools’ transgender bathroom and locker room policies.
- H.B. 563/S.B. 364 would prohibit cities and state agencies from taking action against businesses, organizations, and contractors whose internal policies, though perceived as discriminatory by some LGBT persons, comply with current state law.
HRC’s letter is meant to intimidate Tennessee government officials into complying with the group’s demands to elevate the personal desires of homosexual and gender-dysphoric individuals above the safety of children — the most vulnerable in society — which the state has always sought to protect.
The implied threat of the letter is that if HRC’s demands are not met, these lucrative corporations will steer clear of The Volunteer State:
Put simply, these bills do not reflect the values of our companies. We are disappointed to see the legislature consider discriminatory legislation.
The business community, by and large, has consistently communicated to lawmakers at every level that bills that target LGBTQ people are bad for our employees and their families, bad for our customers and bad for business. This is not a direction in which states move when they are seeking to provide successful, thriving hubs for business and economic development.
We believe that anti-LGBTQ legislation will make it far more challenging for our businesses to recruit and retain the nation’s best and brightest workers and attract the most talented students from across the country.
The Human Rights Campaign is increasingly challenging state and local laws it perceives to be discriminatory against LGBT individuals by claiming to be the conscience of national corporations.
Earlier this year, an amicus brief submitted on behalf of some of the largest and best known companies in the United States was filed in defense of Drew Adams, a Florida girl identifying as a male who demanded to use the boys’ restrooms in her high school.
The brief, which has the fingerprints of HRC all over it, was submitted in the name of Apple, eBay, Google, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Levi Strauss, Microsoft, Twitter, and others.
Not satisfied using a “gender neutral” restroom set aside for her, Adams filed a suit to use restrooms for male students.
When a federal court ruled in the gender-dysphoric girl’s favor, the school appealed the decision.
In their brief, the companies explain that they “share core values of equality, respect, and dignity for all people, regardless of their gender identity” and “have an interest in supporting and defending public policies that protect civil rights and foster acceptance and equal treatment for all their employees, their customers, and the families of both.”
While the companies claim they are “interested in the well-being and educational progress of all persons,” their real interest is in squashing the opposition of heartland communities to the advancement of out-of-control gender ideology.
In both Tennessee and Florida, LGBT activists have found a way to use corporate America to leverage their demands.