Mayor says transgender bathroom bill ‘doesn’t reflect Nashville values’

Megan Barry
(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Mayor Megan Barry issued a statement Thursday on the controversial so-called transgender bathroom bill.

The bill would force transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender designated on their birth certificates.

On Wednesday, the bill passed the House Education Administration and Planning Committee after initially being sent to a summer study.

Her statement also includes the bill that would allow denial of counseling and therapy services to the LGBT community based on religious beliefs.

Referring to the bathroom bill, Mayor Barry says, “This legislation doesn’t reflect Nashville’s values and doesn’t do anything to improve the quality of life for citizens of our city or state.”

She warns that if lawmakers don’t see the value in recognizing people’s “dignity and privacy,” she hopes they can at least see the negative economic impact it will have on Nashville and the state as a whole.

“We’ve seen the negative effects that similar laws in North Carolina have had on their economy, and we’ve already received indications that conventions might pull out of Nashville or eliminate our city from consideration should HB2414/SB2387 become law, resulting in a potential loss of over $10 million in state and local tax revenue and nearly $58 million in direct visitor spending removed from our economy,” Mayor Barry explained.

She then said the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. has heard from convention planners who have booked in Nashville and been told that they will not come if the bill becomes law.

She said there are three definite groups that will cancel their meetings in Nashville and nine tentative groups that will likely not book in Tennessee.

3 definite groups that will cancel meetings in Nashville:
– $8,985,308 in direct spending
– $703,540 in state taxes
– $916,095 in local taxes

9 tentative groups that likely will not book in Tennessee:
– $48,791,853 in direct spending
– $3,746,217 in state taxes
– $4,874,125 in local taxes

In total, risking 12 groups:
– $57,777,161 in direct spending
– $4,449,757 in state taxes
– $5,790,220 in local taxes

“That is the loss of economic activity in just one sector of our city’s economy. Our future ability to attract film and television production will also be impacted, and we could expect to see other industry sectors impacted, as well,” the mayor added.

Barry said that’s “quite a price to pay for legislation that would seem to hurt people, including some of our youngest and our most vulnerable, without actually benefitting anyone in the process.”

She concluded her statement by saying, “The actual impact is anticipated to be far greater should this bill become law and bring greater national attention to anti-LGBT efforts within the state of Tennessee.”

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