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Watch: TN Governor Claims He's Not in Favor of Discrimination After Signing Bill Voiding LGBT Anti-Discrimination Law

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On Tuesday, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed HB600, an anti-gay bill prohibiting local municipalities from enacting their own non-discrimination statutes and forcing them to rely on state law.

The new law voids a Nashville ordinance barring companies that discriminate against gays and lesbians from doing business with the city.

Haslam was asked about his signature yesterday by reporters outside the War Memorial Building in Nashville.

Claims Haslam to the reporter: "We're not in favor of discrimination in any form at all. We encourage businesses to put that into their policies themselves. We just think that businesses should get to decide for themselves what they have in their policies."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Alabama's got me so upset. Tennessee makes me lose my rest. But everybody knows about Mississippi, goddamn!!

    Posted by: Rick | May 26, 2011 10:32:12 AM


  2. Tennessee, keeping the flame of bigotry burning. This man is a disgrace to humanity, not just the state.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | May 26, 2011 10:33:00 AM


  3. But it's just the gays that he gives the OK to discriminate against here. Likely the parts about discrimination by race or other has been left untouched, right? Hypocrite.

    Posted by: Bravo | May 26, 2011 10:39:52 AM


  4. It's very sad, eh? I mean, can you even imagine the sorrier-state the US would be in if federal laws didn't override the Jim Crow laws?

    shameful shameful shameful

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 26, 2011 10:41:44 AM


  5. I'm pretty sure Haslam's gas company, Pilot Oil, does not have any anti-gay protections...so, yeah.

    Posted by: Jeff | May 26, 2011 10:47:27 AM


  6. Disgusting deflection and lie.

    Oh well, this bill, since it clearly is meant to be anti-gay and targets only gay people, will be voided. It's just sad that it's had to come to that, and these people couldn't behave like morally decent human beings.

    Posted by: Francis | May 26, 2011 10:50:47 AM


  7. I live in Tennessee and it was Haslam's Democratic (DINO) challenger who made public anti-gay statements in the lead-up to the election, so I could not in good conscience vote for him. There was no way I could vote for Haslam either so I skipped the Governor's race on the ballot.

    It sucked, but there was no "good" vote to be had in that race.

    Posted by: Codswallop | May 26, 2011 11:01:20 AM


  8. But he *is* in favor of lies and hypocrisy.

    Posted by: Tollendyr2814 | May 26, 2011 11:08:16 AM


  9. To: "bill.haslam@tn.gov"
    Subject: HB 600 - would you apply the same reasoning to businesses that want to discriminate on the basis of race?

    Governor Haslam,
    In connection with your signature on HB 600, you were quoted as saying:
    "We're not in favor of discrimination in any form at all. We encourage businesses to put that into their policies themselves. We just think that businesses should get to decide for themselves what they have in their policies."
    Would you apply the same reasoning to businesses that want to discriminate on the basis of race?
    If you wouldn't, why the inconsistency?
    I believe you're on the wrong side of history, and you'll regret taking such a position because of the sort of hatred and unequal treatment you're helping to perpetuate. You're supposed to be the governor of all Tennesseeans, and you're helping some of them discriminate against others of them, with no rational basis.
    Sincerely,

    Posted by: Mike | May 26, 2011 11:13:11 AM


  10. This answer is completely disingenuous, and the bill that was just passed was a complete overreach and unnecessary to address what Nashville had done.

    The Nashville ordinance did not require any private company to do anything -- it only said that Nashville would not do business with companies that discriminate on grounds that include sexual orientation (not a "discriminatory grounds" recognized at the state level). It did not force any private company to enact anti-discrimination policies covering gays. All private companies were left free to make their own decision -- is it more important to us to continue to be able to discriminate against the gays, or is it more important for us to be able to do business with Nashville.

    If the concern was to allow businesses to maintain discriminatory policies but still do government business, all they needed to do was pass a bill preventing any local government or municipality from passing any laws that barred contractors from doing government business on the basis of discriminatory practices broader than those in the state law. The bill just passed is much broader.

    Posted by: MiloTock | May 26, 2011 12:35:27 PM


  11. "We're not in favor of discrimination in any form at all. We encourage businesses to put that into their policies themselves."

    This is essentially the same argument made by Aqua Buddha moron Rand Paul about civil rights legislation in the 60's: business will do the right thing in order to succeed in the marketplace. But it was wrong when Rand said it and it's wrong now.

    Shame on Haslam and the Tennessee legislature for their blatant and unapologetic discrimination.

    Posted by: ant | May 26, 2011 12:38:27 PM


  12. ...Right.

    That's cool. You're not in favor of homophobic policies, but you're fine with other people having them. I get it. I mean, I'm not in favor of violence against homophobic bigots in government positions, but I think that it's fine if someone ELSE is in favor of it. Who am I to tell them no?

    Posted by: luminum | May 26, 2011 1:07:00 PM


  13. Make no mistake, Haslam is bought and paid for by the Xtian right and any window dressing he uses to claim that he's "against discrimination" is pure unadulterated horse manure.

    Posted by: FML66 | May 26, 2011 1:44:34 PM


  14. The Right continues to say that they want smaller government yet overstep every chance they get. Here's a local municipality determining what they would like to see for them and the legislature deemed it inappropriate. Disingenuous in my book.

    Posted by: Ray | May 26, 2011 2:03:49 PM


  15. why can't a municipality have the same right as a business and write its own policies?

    Posted by: eroica | May 26, 2011 2:56:41 PM


  16. @Rick. Nice Nina Simone reference.

    Posted by: Andrew | May 26, 2011 5:08:23 PM


  17. I just cancelled our annual golf trip to TN at the end of June. Our group of four were planning on playing for three days in the Eastern TN mountains. It's always good to know who your foes are. I'm just not willing to spend money on people who have hateful laws on their books.

    Posted by: Matt Ford | May 26, 2011 9:27:18 PM


  18. I love my state and my hometown of Nashville, but I loathe my governor and state legislature! I hope this is overturned so fast it gives them all whiplash!

    Posted by: Travis | May 26, 2011 11:05:20 PM


  19. My 80 y.o. mother canceled a big family trip to Memphis because she heard about this. New Orleans is getting our money!

    Posted by: wbnyc | May 26, 2011 11:42:25 PM


  20. "My 80 y.o. mother canceled a big family trip to Memphis because she heard about this. New Orleans is getting our money!"

    And so what, New Orleans is better? Don't kid yourself: It's hard to beat the state of Louisiana for homophobia. When they passed the constitutional ban on gay marriage in 2004, they hated us so much that they couldn't even wait until election day in November to vote. They had to have a special election day in September just for the ban. And it passed with 78% of the vote (suck on that Kansas!).

    I'm sorry to have to put it bluntly folks but this logic of boycotting a state for any anti-gay measure it passes just makes no sense whatsoever. This is because (1) the people you boycott couldn't care less, and (2) it's impractical. More than 40 states have either a constitutional or statutory ban on gay marriage. If you're a consistent person, you'd better be prepared to boycott 80% of the United States.

    Posted by: Mark | May 27, 2011 3:32:43 AM


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