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Barry Urges Lawmakers To Consider Economic Impact of Anti-LGBT Legislation


Estimates show a potential loss of $58 million in direct visitor spending, costing our city and state over $10 million in revenue

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 7, 2016) – Mayor Megan Barry has released the following statement regarding HB2414/SB2387, legislation intended to discriminate against transgender students which passed the House Education Administration & Planning Committee on Wednesday after having initially been sent to a summer study committee, and HB1840/SB1556, legislation that allows denial of counseling and therapy services to LGBT citizens and casts additional discrimination on those seeking help:

“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. If some lawmakers don’t see the value in recognizing people’s dignity and privacy, I hope they can at least see the negative economic impact and potential loss of revenue to Nashville and the State of Tennessee. 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.

“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. 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. Instead of creating complex and confusing regulations for restrooms, or becoming the only state in the nation to allow discrimination by counseling professionals, the state should work with local governments to continue our economic growth, address traffic problems, and give our schools the resources and support they need to be successful.”

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 HB2414/SB2387 becomes law. Additionally, there are indications that nine other groups are likely to abandon plans to meet in Nashville should the bill pass.

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

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.