Leading record labels, streaming services, publishing companies and media firms in Nashville issued an open letter Friday urging Tennessee lawmakers to denounce legislation targeting LGBTQ community members.
More than three dozen companies — including Spotify, Apple, Curb Records, Big Machine, Third Man Records and Americana Music Association — signed a request for legislators to “reject these bills and help ensure that our state is welcoming and economically vibrant.”
Last month, Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill that requires transgender students in Tennessee to compete in school sports according to their sex at birth; a bill allowing parents to waive LGBTQ-related curriculum for their children cleared the state legislature earlier this week.
The letter said: “Apart from regulatory overreach into matters that should be left to parents, health care experts and businesses, the passage of these bills would hinder Tennessee’s continued ability to recruit the best talent, support business innovation, and serve as the dynamic home to some of the nation’s most exciting music, entertainment, travel, and tourism opportunities.”
Members of Nashville’s multi-billion dollar music industry join a growing list of corporations, local business leaders, medical experts and LGBTQ advocates to oppose the legislation.
Nashville labels including Big Machine, Sony Music, Warner Music and Curb Records signed the letter, which was addressed to state House and Senate leaders.
“The proposed legislation would be disastrous to Tennessee’s social and economic health,” the letter said.
Mike Curb, founder of Music Row staple Curb Records, penned a separate letter that said Lee would become “the (No.) 1 discriminatory governor in America” if he upholds anti-LGBTQ legislation. Curb, a Republican who served as lieutenant governor of California and co-chairman of former President Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign, said these bills deflect from real issues, instead causing “fear and division.”
The legislation could cost Nashville millions in lost revenue, per a Tennessean report published earlier this week. A Lee spokesperson said Tuesday that businesses don’t govern the state.
“Organizations have opportunities to weigh in on the legislative process but ultimately, Tennesseans, through their elected representatives, determine the law in our state,” Casey Black told The Tennessean.
Tennessean reporter Yue Stella Yu and Yihyun Jeong contributed to this article.
Music industry asks Tennessee lawmakers to stop anti-LGBTQ legislation (tennessean.com)