The Tennessee senate surprised no one by voting to repeal Nashville’s LGBT protections for city contractors. What is surprising however is that the Tennessee Chamber of Commerced who lobbied heavily in against the LGBT protections those rights has a handful of large, well-known corporations serving as board members. Cue the petition and prepare the boycott!
Nissan, FedEx, AT&T, Comcast, DuPont, Pfizer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Caterpillar, KPMG. Whirlpool, Embraer, Alcoa, and United HealthCare all lobbied for the bill which not only repealed current city protections for LGBT employees, but will also prohibit any municipal civil rights laws in the future. Furthermore, is it any surprise that the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index gave most of the businesses high rankings. The index scores each company’s’” commitment to LGBT non-discrimination policies, partner benefits and other policies that are of interest to the LGBT community”:
Blue Cross Blue Shield : 90
Nonetheless, just as in the case of Target, the HRC scores don’t account yet for their anti-gay lobbying. There is a petition demanding that each company issue an immediate statement withdrawing support from the bill and asking Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to veto this bill. But one wonders why their lobbying and presence on the board remained a secret until now.