Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee released a statement on Tuesdaysaying he will be signing a new measureinto law that allows faith-based foster care and adoption agencies to exclude LGBTQ families, and whoever else they want to discriminate against based on their religious beliefs. NBC News says that the state’s Republican-controlled legislature passed the two-page bill during its first 2020 day in session.
TheTennesseanreports that the bill’s proponents championed the legislation for its religious “freedom,” while its detractors argued that it is simply bad policy that will lead to further discrimination against LGBTQ Americans. A few Republicans reportedly argued against passing the bill, though only Sen. Steve Dickerson of Nashville voted against it, saying it was “bad public policy” and would lead to boycotts and the financial and economic losses that come with such obviously discriminatory policies. Dickerson specifically cited tourism, sports teams, and similarfallout experienced by states with discriminatory legislation, like Indiana.
Tennessee joins other similar anti-LGBTQ movements inKansasandBuffalo, where religious organizations argue that their “freedom” to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation outweighs their fitness as a potential loving caretaker. As with all backward and bad ideas, the Trump administration has also beenweighing similar federal movesto screw LGBTQ families out of basic rights afforded to Americans.