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Tourism industry could take a hit from anti-transgender athlete bill, LGBTQ advocates say

Music City Center
Posted at 8:51 PM, Feb 25, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee's tourism industry could be impacted by a bill that would ban transgender student-athletes from playing on any team that doesn't align with their sex at birth.

The final Senate vote on the bill is set for Monday, March 1.

Joe Woolley, the president of the Nashville LGBT Chamber, lobbied against the bill on Wednesday on Capitol Hill. In his remarks, he included that tourists may not visit the state because the bill does not send an inclusive message.

When North Carolina passed its controversial bathroom bill, the state reportedly took a multi-billion dollar economic hit.

"We've seen it in the industry," said Jeremy Bishop of Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott in the Gulch. "We've seen it in Charlotte when they passed the legislation there. Business started to pull away from those cities and states that legislated issues like this."

Jeremy Bishop said after the year the hospitality industry has had, another hit could be damaging.

"I'm fearful that any discriminatory legislation may lead to more boycotts and cause serious negative impacts to an industry that is already suffering," Bishop said.

In the other states, anti-transgender bills also led to canceled sporting events, concerts and conventions.

"Anything like this would cripple us in our potential to reach out, attain and attract business.. in so many ways, not just lodging. They spend money at restaurants, they go to retail stores. It impacts all of us," he said.

The final Senate vote on the transgender athlete bill is Monday.

Eight other bills about transgender people have been filed by Tennessee lawmakers.

Read More:

ACLU, Democratic LGBTQ Caucus issue statements on transgender student-athlete bill

Governor: Transgender athletes will 'destroy women's sports'

Forcing transgender athletes to play sports based on gender at birth

Gay GOP lawmaker urges defeat of anti-trans athlete bill