May 23 2011
10:30 pm

So much for Haslam's vaunted "moderation."

Despite condemnations from AT&T, Nissan, KPMG, Alcoa, and United Healthcare, and the now-withdrawn support of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, Governor Haslam signed HB600 into law, which effectively prohibits cities from adopting their own anti-discrimination statutes.

This move was prompted by a Metro Nashville ordinance which required businesses to abide by the non-discrimination policies of the Metro government if they wanted to do business with Metro. This means that anyone with a Metro contact would have to provide EEO to LGBT persons.

In this, Governor Haslam feels that the federal government should retain primacy.

"Through the legislative process, [Haslam] expressed concerns about the state telling local governments what to do, but he also had concerns about local governments telling businesses what to do, especially the potential burden on small businesses. Ultimately, he felt the Metro ordinance went farther than federal law in regulating business policies."

Lt. Gov. Ramsey's boots were not seen anywhere near the state border.

A lawsuit to enjoin the state law is expected shortly.

R. Neal's picture

I'm not sure what people were

I'm not sure what people were expecting with Haslam. Nobody should be surprised by this or any of the other nonsense. What's sad and frustrating is going to events in East TN where there are lots of Democrats and seeing Haslam for Governor stickers on their cars.

Andy Axel's picture

I guess if there's any

I guess if there's any surprise here to be had, it's that Haslam remained unmoved by the remarks of the business community, opting instead to shore up his bonafides with Casada and his creepy crew.

The thinking was probably that he'd have a check in the social conservative credibility box while kicking the can straight into the courts. Then he can blame "activist judges" for "usurping legislative authority" (even though his rationale makes it look like he's in favor of the federal government deciding what's best for Nashville, the sort of talk that would otherwise have Ron Ramsey running to the border screaming fire-n-tarnation in his best boots).

CE Petro's picture

Companies Condemning Hate

John Aravosis has a round-up of the companies that issued statements against this hate bill, who was helpful and who wasn't. It might surprise you that AT&T is in the "meh" category, just a little better than being basically useless.

guesty guest's picture

This is Haslam's most social

This is Haslam's most social conservative move yet, or even an inkling of noise (to me) that he would move in this direction. It's also a giant waste of taxpayer money. This exact same 'law' was settled with the USSC as Romer V. Evans. R v. E didn't pass Rational this law can not pass Strict Scrutiny. It is garbage. And the last-second plea from the Tn Chamber is even more garbage, they sponsored this from the beginning, they were made aware of the consequences by Metro.

I'm really glad he's proud of his first legislative session. I, for one, am holding back the barf.

jcgrim's picture

Haslam is a figurehead

The Chamber and the business community aren't going to drop support for Haslam over this law. He can pander to the tea partiers and bigots and loose nothing in campaign donations. Is anyone surprised that he's merely a figurehead for Pilot Oil, private corporate interests, and the republican party?

Face it, his handlers kept him isolated from controversy during his tenure as Knoxville mayor. Haslam was rarely challenged on anything he did while mayor. He never faced any critical press coverage or direct questions from reporters, never held a town hall meeting in which he had to face citizens directly about controversial issues. Not one question about his potential conflicts of interest re: Pilot Oil.

We did get to know that he and his family are nice and good christians.

gonzone's picture

Big government Republicans!

Big government Republicans! Leave the cities alone!

Min's picture


What a gutless figurehead he is. He has no intention of actually governing Tennessee. He's just a rich diletante who bought the office with inherited money and who wants to pad his political resume` by playing governor. We can only hope that he's limited to one term.

Andy Axel's picture

There's that word again.

There's that word again. Hope.

I'd rather trust to the TNDP to develop a candidate or a strategy.

fischbobber's picture

At the risk of sounding stupid

Is there a reason Republicans hate homosexuals so much?

Andy Axel's picture

In some cases, it's

In some cases, it's self-loathing.

fischbobber's picture

I suppose

That may be a valid explanation for what's going on. I'm about wore out trying to find logical order in anything Haslam is in charge of.

marytheprez's picture

Yes, several reasons; #1 is the Xtian ownership of said Party.

Beginning with Reagan in the '80s, right wing Fundies pushed their shameful hatred of gays, women's rights, protection of church pedophiles into the White House. Frauds like Falwell, Dobson, Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham develped a revolving door at the White House, selling their denominations' votes for influencing Congress to write rigid, hate-filled bills that GOP Presidents signed off on...End result today: Over 1,000 bills around the country against abortion rights this year alone. Prop 8 is being held up for recall due to the millions spent by two denominations, hatred of gays...Here in TN this year, Campfield, Dunn and Ketron...the right wing churches...influenced these boys to write all those..."we hate women's rights, we certainly hate the GLBT community", we hate other religions, do not trust anyone NOT white"...just check 'em out!
And Campfield cannot even adequately explain, nor can Haslam who signs off on these idiotic bills...why, who benefits, what they are about.
And possibly self-loathing fits in there, too!

redmondkr's picture

On this day in 1830, Andrew

On this day in 1830, Andrew Jackson, in signing the Indian Removal Act into law:

"It gives me pleasure to announce to Congress that the benevolent policy of the Government, steadily pursued for nearly thirty years, in relation to the removal of the Indians beyond the white settlements is approaching to a happy consummation."

"Toward the aborigines of the country no one can indulge a more friendly feeling than myself, or would go further in attempting to reclaim them from their wandering habits and make them a happy, prosperous people."

Maybe the GOP, failing to reclaim some of us from our wandering habits, could just remove us to San Francisco.

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