Tell TN Governor Haslam to veto the anti-gay "Special Access to Discriminate" Act
  • Petitioned Susan Whitaker

This petition was delivered to:

TN Department of Tourist Development Commissioner
Susan Whitaker
Assistant Commissioner of TN Department of Tourist Development
Tom Lightsey
Legislative Liaison for TN Department of Tourist Development
Carter Meadors
State Attorney General
Robert E. Cooper Jr.
Deputy Commissioner TN Department of Economic and Community Development
Paula Davis
Assistant Commissioner, TN Department of Economic and Community Development
Paul LaGrange
Commissioner of TN Department of Environment & Conservation
Robert J. Martineau, Jr
Commissioner of TN Department of Revenue
Richard Roberts
Bill Haslam
Commissioner of TN Department of Economic and Community Development
Bill Hagerty

Tell TN Governor Haslam to veto the anti-gay "Special Access to Discriminate" Act

    1. Petition by


The Tennessee General Assembly is moving to put Tennessee jobs and its economy at risk.

On Tuesday, April 5, the Nashville Metro Council enacted the Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance (CAN DO) which extended LGBT-inclusive workplace protections to the employees of government contractors. Nashville passed a similar ordinance to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees from discrimination on the job in 2009. Such workplace protections make Nashville and other communities more attractive to talented professionals and workers, businesses and entrepreneurs. People want to live and work in places that value diversity and inclusion of all people. Such values foster creativity and drive the economic engine of business.

But these advances and future advances in other communities in Tennessee are threatened by the “Special Access to Discriminate” Act (HB600/SB632). The SAD Act would repeal the CAN DO in Nashville, take away established rights, and label Tennessee as an intolerant place for workers, residents and tourists.

If enacted, the SAD act will encourage talented and educated professionals to leave Tennessee  for more welcoming and inclusive communities. Businesses in the state will have a harder time recruiting talented and skilled workers to live and work in Tennessee.

The SAD Act also threatens tourism in Tennessee. The Gay Travel Blog of Passport Magazine advertised the passage of the CAN DO in Nashville on April 5 along with the 2009 Employment Non-Discrimination Ordinance. LGBT travelers with disposable income for travel take note such advances. The SAD Act would destroy a welcoming message to travelers.

The State of Colorado enacted legislation similar to the SAD Act in 1992 that prohibited local governments from passing non-discrimination ordinances. The state drew criticism from potential tourists and businesses looking to move to the state when it embraced intolerance and bigotry. Colorado suffered billions of dollars in lost tourism, jobs and tax revenues over a five year period until the legislation was overturned after costly court challenges. Tennessee cannot afford such long term fiscal consequences during a recession.

The Tennessee General Assembly should be doing everything it can to promote economic growth, tourism and prosperity in Tennessee. But the SAD Act will only undermine the economy in Tennessee.

Contact Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and relevant Executive Branch Departments today. Tell them that Tennessee cannot allow intolerance and bigotry to damage the state's tourism industry and economy.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 2 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Michael McFarland WASHINGTON, DC
      • over 3 years ago

      I was born and raised in Memphis. Until now I have always been proud to be a "SON OF TENNESSEE" please don't make me ashamed of my home.

    • Leila Cook LIVINGSTON, TN
      • over 3 years ago

      Please do not sign this bill. I went to my daughter's school to do a presentation for Holocaust Memorial Week and it was implied that I could not mention that homosexuals were victims in the Holocaust along with all the other people groups. Can we now just write people out of history?

    • Matt Silverstein BIXBY, OK
      • over 3 years ago

      We either have Equal Protection for ALL or we do not. This is crazy. Veto.

    • Robert Bowden LAKE HOPATCONG, NJ
      • over 3 years ago

      As a former long time resident of Franklin, TN who was looking to move back in a few years to buy a home, I can say without at doubt that if this Act passes I wont be making that move back to the state at all.

    • Sylvia Cox MEMPHIS, TN
      • over 3 years ago

      Do not send Tennessee back into the throws of segregation and regressive 'policies'. There should be NO discrimination based on race, religion, gender, sexual preference - none.


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