Please, vote NO on HB2620 on March 27 when it comes up in the Civil Justice Committee.
The bill is wrong on principle. The State of Tennessee should not have to pay for the court settlements that are a consequence of the policies and actions of local school districts.
The bill will be expensive to the State. On January 12, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted that the Kenosha, Wisconsin United School District agreed to pay $800,000 to settle a federal lawsuit brought by transgender student Ash Whitaker. If local school districts in Tennessee believe that the State will pick up the tab, where will the expense end?
The bill does not represent the values of Tennessee. 77 Tennessee clergy and religious leaders have signed the following statement:
"As clergy and leaders of faith communities, we oppose SB2480/HB2620. Using the resources of state government to defend school districts that engage in discrimination is opposed to our values and it undercuts the important work of building just communities in Tennessee."
These clergy come from Johnson City, Oak Ridge, Gallatin, Murfreesboro, Tullahoma, Ashland City, Mt. Juliet, Bristol, Clarksville, Maryville, Smithville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville, Madison, Brentwood, Memphis, and Old Hickory.
This bill compromises Tennessee's economic development efforts. North Carolina endured millions of dollars in consequences from its bathroom bill. Tennessee must remain a job-creating leader. This bill paints a target on our state, inviting boycotts and other repurcussions.
HB2620 is wrong for all these reasons. Thank you for considering my views.