UPDATE – Companies on Tennessee Chamber of Commerce Board Respond To Pressure Over Backing LGBT Rights Repeal

Well never let it be said that we have no power. 

Thanks to everyone on Twitter and across the web who responded to my pleas and AmericaBlogGay’s pleas for help against the TN Chamber of Commerce who is backing a religious right Bill called “The Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act” that would repeal gay/trans rights protections in Nashville and would ban municipalities in the state from passing any future civil rights laws.

Some of the prestigious companies who make up the board which include FedEx, AT&T, Comcast, DuPont, Pfizer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Caterpillar, KPMG, Whirlpool, Embraer, Alcoa, and United HealthCare have started to issue statements due to the pressure.

So far Alcoa, Fed-Ex, Nissan and AT&T have issued statements, but Alcoa is the only company out of the fours so far to say explicitly that they oppose the Tennessee legislation that would repeal Nashville’s civil rights ordinance, and that they want the Governor to veto the bill.

“Alcoa provides equal employment opportunity without discrimination and supports state and local legislation protecting the rights of all community members. We do not agree with the chamber on this issue and would ask that the governor veto the bill.”

AT&T, Nissan and Fed-Ex on the other hand bob and weave and never come out explicitly saying that they do not support, and will ask the Governor to veto the Bill  

You can read the Nissan, Fed-Ex and AT&T

The AmericaBlog petition received over 4,000 signatures yesterday and thanks to the Twitter and and retweets of my previous post a lot of pressure has been exerted.  It proves that WE CAN make a difference if we try together and take the time to do so.

We still have not won on this issue and must keep up the pressure.  Especially after Tennessee’s passage of the “Don;t Say Gay” Bill that now FORBIDS schools in TN of discussing LGBT issues, history, or answer any questions about us in Tennessee schools.

WE MUST KEEP UP THE PRESSURE!  WE MUST CONTINUE TO FIGHT!

We must continue calling the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and the Governor of Tennessee and complain and  threaten to boycott State tourism,  its companies and products until they STOP backing the Religious Rights BLATANTLY harmful, bigoted and Un-american attempts to destroy the LGBT Community.

PLEASE – Sign John Aravois and Joe Sudbury’s open letter to the companies involved  in backing the The Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act”  by CLICKING HERE

Call the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and threaten to boycott the businesses, merchandise and the state of TN if they don;t immediately withdraw their support and if LGBT protections are repealed and the Bill is passed

Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry
611 Commerce Street, Suite 3030
Nashville, TN 37203-3742
Telephone: 615-256-5141
Fax: 615-256-6726
E-Mail: info@tnchamber.org

And CONTACT Gov. Bill Haslam and tell him to VETO “The Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act”, “The Don’t Say Gay Bill” and  any anti-lgbt legislation or there will be financial consequences to the state.

WE are the only ones that can do this and this just does not affect the LGBT community in Tennessee but everywhere because once precedents are set others will seize the opportunity and momentum and will follow suit.

*PLEASE Repost, Retweet, and spread the word!

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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