Friday, January 6, 2017

Fed Ex, St.Jude Among Memphis Names Aligning Against Anti-LGBTQ Bill

Posted By on Fri, Jan 6, 2017 at 1:36 PM

click to enlarge Memphis' largest employer, FedEx, is among some of the area organizations that have signed on to the Tennessee Thrives pledge. - COURTESY OF FEDEX
  • Courtesy of FedEx
  • Memphis' largest employer, FedEx, is among some of the area organizations that have signed on to the Tennessee Thrives pledge.
Some of the most recognized organizations in Memphis including FedEx, St.Jude, and International Paper added their names to the Tennessee Thrives pledge, a coalition of more than 300 Tennessee businesses signaling their displeasure with a recently passed anti-LGBTQ law and calling for an inclusive Tennessee.

The law, which was signed by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam allows mental health counselors to refuse treatment to LGBTQ patients if their sexual orientation or gender identity conflicts with the therapist's religious beliefs.

Just two weeks after the law's passage in late April, the American Counseling Association cancelled a scheduled conference in Nashville, saying the law was in clear violation of the ACA code of ethics and they would stand firm against it. The ACA projected a local economic loss of $10 million for Nashville as a result of the conference's cancellation.

It's a similar tale to North Carolina, where the NBA and the NCAA immediately cancelled games in response to the state's passage of laws meant to force transgender citizens to use bathroom and locker facilities that correspond with the biological sex on their birth certificate.

Other private organizations and even musicians such as Bruce Springsteen began to quickly follow suit.

The Center for American Progress estimated that economic loss in North Caroline could soar to more than $568 million in private sector activity based on the growing list of organizations distancing themselves from the state.

Tennessee Thrives signees are hoping to avoid similar economic repercussions.

Some of the Memphis-based organizations that have signed the Tennessee Thrives pledge are: FedEx, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, International Paper, AutoZone, Baker Donelson, Memphis College of Art, Rhodes College, and Little Bird Innovations.

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