PHOTOS: GLAAD in Nashville, calls on music industry to take a stand against discriminatory bills

Today GLAAD and the Tennessee Equality Project gathered in Nashville with actor and musician Chris Carmack, singer-songwriter and producer Desmond Child, and Tennessee-based LGBT advocates to call on the country music industry to take a stand against discriminatory bills currently pending in Tennessee, which threaten the rights and safety of LGBT people.

Tennessee's House Bill 1840 would allow medical professionals to refuse mental health services to LGBT patients, and Tennessee’s HB 2414, a so-called "bathroom bill," would target transgender youth, aged K-12, as well as transgender higher education students – denying them the safety and freedom to use the bathroom that matches their identity.

“There is no doubt that these anti-LGBT bills will jeopardize this state’s economy,” GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said during a press conference today in Nashville. “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 front against discrimination.”

Sarah Kate Ellis

“This kind of unnecessary discrimination has no place in this city or the state of Tennessee,” Carmack, who plays the gay country music star Will Lexington on ABC’s hit show ‘Nashville’, said. “It could take years to undo the economic damage done by this potential law; but let me be clear, the human damage can never be repaired. Our young people only get one chance to grow up in a state that values and accepts them for who they are. Let’s not take that away from them. It’s important for those who can make a difference in my industry to stand up. Let their words be heard. Let their actions be seen. I invite others to join me in making sure this law doesn’t become a reality in our state.”

Others joining GLAAD and the Tennessee Equality Project at Monday’s Nashville press conference included Marisa Richmond of Tennessee Transgender Political Committee:

Songwriter and Hall-of-Fame-member Desmond Child:

Nashville Pastor Stan Mitchell:

Henry Seaton, a transgender student at Beech High School in Hendersonville TN:

Recording artists Miley Cyrus, Ty Herndon, and Chely Wright are among the recording artists who have also spoken out on social media. Last week, GLAAD joined the Tennessee Equality Project last week in support of a petition that voices opposition to the state’s discriminatory bills. Thousands have already signed in support of equality and acceptance for all LGBT Tennesseans. Check out more photos from the event below.