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Business leaders say Tennessee’s anti-LGBT legislation hurts economy

Postmates, a food delivery company that came to Nashville in 2015 and employs 650 people, is considering expansion in Tennessee. One factor working against those plans is the prospect of more anti-LGBT legislation from state lawmakers and Gov. Bill Lee, said Postmates training director Donna Drehmann. 

“Postmates continues to be alarmed by the Lee administration’s anti-LGBTQ agenda, particularly as we consider expanding our presence in the Volunteer State,” Drehmann said at the Cordell Hull state office building Wednesday. “State leaders cannot and will not be able to expect companies like ours to power its economic engine while supporting legislation that undermines our ability to feel welcome in this state to include all families and all workers unless they commit to a new pathway.”

Postmates is among 35 major companies — including Amazon, Warner Music Group, Dell, Nissan and Nashville Soccer Club — and 107 small businesses in Tennessee speaking out against a new Tennessee law allowing adoption agencies to deny LGBT couples based on the agencies’ religious beliefs, and any other legislation considered anti-LGBT expected to be filed this year. They argue such bills conflict with their values, damage the state’s reputation, hurt tourism and hamper employee recruitment, all of which harm the economy.

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