Republican Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada said Monday that companies should stay out of politics (ironically) even though lawmakers receive major campaign donations from companies each year.
Casada’s comments were triggered after dozens of small and large companies, including the NFL team the Tennessee Titans, signed letters opposing the “Slate of Hate.” The “Slate of Hate” is a grouping of three bills moving through state legislation that aims to allow child adoptions agencies to deny same-sex couples because of religious beliefs and another bill that requires the state’s attorney general to defend school districts determining bathroom use for transgender students.
The General Assembly is also considering a bill that could impact transgender people by enhancing the punishment for any person who commits so-called indecent exposure in public restrooms and other places by using facilities that reflect their gender.
Even other Republican lawmakers are worried about the financial implications for the state if the bills are passed. But Casada isn’t.
Tennessee provides a fertile ground for them to make money and be prosperous,” Casada said. “And that’s what they should do. They should take care of their stockholders and not get so much involved in politics.”
But Casada seems to be one of the few who isn’t concerned that something like what happened to North Carolina could happen to Tennessee.
In 2016, North Carolina was boycotted by many companies and the NCAA and NBA moved already scheduled basketball games to different states when North Carolina passed a law that restricted bathroom use for transgender people. The law was ultimately rescinded in 2017.
The Tennessee Titans signed an open letter addressing lawmakers taking a stand against the discriminatory legislation, joining major players including Amazon, Bridgestone Americas, Dell Technologies, Warner Music Group, along with 50 Tennessee small businesses.
Last week, Hilton and Marriott International (both Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 Companies), IKEA North America Services, LLC, InterContinental Hotels Group, Lyft, MassMutual, Nike, Inc., Replacements, Ltd., Salesforce, Unilever and Warby Parker all signed onto another letter from the Human Rights Campaign condemning the “Slate of Hate.”