GLAAD Asks Music Industry to Speak Out Against Tennessee's Anti-Gay Bills

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"This kind of unnecessary discrimination has no place in this city or the state of Tennessee," says 'Nashville's' Chris Carmack.

LGBT media advocacy organization GLAAD asked the music industry to take a stand against pending legislation in Tennessee they say threatens the rights and safety of LGBT people.

“There is no doubt that these anti-LGBT bills will jeopardize this state’s economy,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said Monday at a press conference in Nashville.

“Nashville is America’s music capital, and the companies, artists and allied businesses here alone contribute more than $9.7 billion to this state’s economy," said Ellis. "I am here today to call on the music industry to stand with us, alongside television networks and film studios who stood with us in Georgia, in a united front against discrimination.”

The bills Ellis referred to are the state's House Bill 1840, which would permit counselors to refuse mental health services to LGBT patients, and HB 2414, nicknamed a "bathroom bill," that targets transgender youth.

Nashville actor Chris Carmack also spoke out against the bills during GLAAD's press conference. Carmack plays openly gay country music singer Will Lexington on the ABC show.  

"This kind of unnecessary discrimination has no place in this city or the state of Tennessee,” said Carmack. “It could take years to undo the economic damage done by these potential laws; but let me be clear, the human damage can never be repaired. Our young people only get one chance to grow up in a state that values and accepts them for who they are. Let’s not take that away from them. It’s important for those who can make a difference in my industry to stand up. Let their words be heard. Let their actions be seen. Please join me in making sure these laws doesn’t become a reality in our state."

Artists including Miley Cyrus, Ty Herndon and Chely Wright have voiced their opposition to the legislation, and Viacom's CMT network also called for a rejection of the proposals.