GLAAD draws media attention to Tennessee anti-LGBT bills

Yesterday, GLAAD and the Tennessee Equality Project held a press conference in Nashville, Tennessee to call on the country music industry to take a stand against a pair of discriminatory bills which, if passed, would threaten the safety and rights of LGBT Tennesseans. GLAAD's press conference has since cast a spotlight on Tennessee's House Bill 1840 and House Bill 2414, which would allow medical professionals to refuse mental health services to LGBT patients and would deny transgender youth from using the bathroom that matches their identity, respectively. GLAAD's message and actions has also garnered the attention and accolades of numerous national and international news outlets including Salon, The Advocate, Gay Times, and  Rolling Stone.

"Each celebrity, business owner and politician who speaks out about this bill is helping to create awareness and change," wrote one journalist for Salon, acknowledging the significance and overall impact of GLAAD's message. "Is that going to happen overnight? Of course not, but in the process of speaking up about this particular law, they are sending a message to other states considering passing such laws that they too would likely be next in line for a boycott." Such sentiments echoed statements made by GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis during the press conference:

There is no doubt that these anti-LGBT bills will jeopardize this state's economy. Nashville is America's music capital, and the companies, artists, and allied businesses here alone contribute more than $9.7 billion dollars to this state's economy. I am here today to call on the country music industry to stand with us, alongside television networks and film studios who stood with us in Georgia, in a united from against discrimination.

Rolling Stone not only noted that "Miley Cyrus, Emmylou Harris, Chely Wright and Ty Herndon, along with Viacon and CMT, have already spoken out against the bills," but also quoted Ellis, who went on to name several companies in the enternainment industry whose voices and actions are needed to challenge this harmful legislation:

We need big voices in this industry like Sony Nashville, Big Machine Records, Universal Music Group, RCA, Curb Records, Warner Brothers and others to speak out. 

Check out statements put out in support of GLAAD's activism by celebrities, companies, and news outlets, and add your voice by signing this petition urging Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to veto these bills.