Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a controversial bill that would let adoption agencies deny service to same-sex couples, among others, based on religious stances.
The law takes effect immediately.
Several corporations and groupsincluding Amazon, Nike and the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Uniondid not want Lee not to sign the measure, media outlets noted.
According to NBC News, some states to date have enacted similar legislation, including Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, South Dakota, North Dakota, Virginia, Mississippi and Michigan. However, Michigan agreed in settling an ACLU lawsuit to no longer turn away LGBTQ couples or individuals because of religious objections.
The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) condemned Lee for signing HB 836HRC President Alphonso David said in a press release, in part, "Now, Tennessee has the shameful distinction of being the first state to pass an anti-LGBTQ bill into law this year. This bill does nothing to improve the outcomes for children in care, shrinks the pool of prospective parents and is a blatant attempt to discriminate against LGBTQ Tennesseans."
Family Equality CEO The Rev. Stan Sloan said in a separate statement, "This is the first anti-LGBTQ bill signed into law anywhere in the nation in 2020, and it's targeting vulnerable LGBTQ youth and families."