TN Politics: Lawmakers Scorn LGBTQ Rights Through Laws that Appeal to Rural Base

Apr 26, 2019

Bolstered by the prospect of a sympathetic Supreme Court, Tennessee's supermajority of conservative lawmakers have introduced a number of bills this year designed to strengthen the right to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. 

One would allow adoption agencies run by evangelicals to deny serving certain parents as long as their reasons for discriminating were put in writing. 

Another would prevent cities from declining to do business with companies that practice legal forms of discrimination (i.e. sexual orientation and gender identity are not protected classes in the state). 

A Republican preoccupation this session with bathrooms and birth certificates runs contrary to another Republican interest: business. As America's business community urges statehouse theocrats to back away from disparaging laws, Republicans in Tennessee and elsewhere are instead answering to rural voters. 

Political analyst Otis Sanford joins us this week to wonder whether the hostile environment Republicans are nurturing for LGBTQ people will eventually counteract the tax incentives used to lure industry here.