Many Tennesseans have been excited that Amazon will have a major hub in Nashville, creating 5,000 new jobs in our state, but is there a downside to having this well-known company in our state? Unfortunately, yes.
Because Amazon has been vocal about its pro-LGBT stance, it has been pressured by national “No Gay? No Way!” campaign to fight back against legislation that the campaign thinks discriminates against the LGBT community in Nashville. In a letter to the Glamazons, the LGBT employee advocacy group at Amazon, the campaign states, “The time is now to demand Amazon publicly condemn these anti-LGBT bills and fight to repeal existing state laws that discriminate against you and your families. Amazon has done this in Texas, and the threat [of anti-LGBT laws] in Tennessee is just as real.” Then on April 2, the campaign flew a plane with a banner saying, “Amazon HQ2: No Gays? No way!”
The “No Gay? No Way!” campaign focuses on preventing pro-family bills (what they call the “slate of hate”) such as Family Action of Tennessee’s Business Protection Act (SB 364 / HB 563) and School Protection Act (SB 1499 / HB 1274), and bills that look out for the religious beliefs of adoption and foster care agencies.
Amazon responded to the campaign’s pressure tactics by saying, “Amazon has a long history of supporting equality and we’re opposed to laws that discriminate or encourage discrimination.”
This campaign should remind us to pray that our state legislators will not be swayed by the perceived economic influence of businesses like Amazon.
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