Advertisement
Find a Car
Go!

Nissan Comes Out Of The Closet Against Anti-Gay Tennessee Law

Follow John

Gay Flag

Gay Flag

If you didn't already know what Nissan's words meant, you'd likely have no idea what the company was saying in a statement it released yesterday.

So we'll translate.

"Nissan North America, a company with its headquarters (and two factories) in the state of Tennessee, opposes a pair of recent bills in the state legislature that overturn Nashville's law prohibiting companies that do business with the city from discriminating against gay, lesbian, and transgender Tennesseans who work for them."

That's not, of course, what Nissan said. In its entirety, the statement reads:

BACKGROUND: Recently a number of special interest groups in Tennessee and abroad have voiced opposition to HB600/SB632, the "Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act," which is awaiting Governor Haslam’s signature to be signed into law. Nissan is clarifying its position on this piece of legislation and is issuing the following statement:

STATEMENT: "Nissan opposes HB600/SB632. While we believe in a standard State regulatory environment, we share public concerns about this bill‘s impact on diversity and inclusiveness. Nissan is committed to providing a diverse and inclusive environment for all stakeholders.”

There are some words missing from the statement, among them "gay," "lesbian," and "transgender." Because the individuals to whom they apply are the actual target of the bill.

Under the slightly deceptive title of the "Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act," the bills (HB600 and SB632) nullify an ordinance passed on April 5 by the Nashville City Council that requires companies doing business with the city not to discriminate on the basic of sexual orientation or gender expression.

Nissan Smyrna Tennessee

Nissan Smyrna Tennessee

Enlarge Photo

The Republican-dominated Tennessee legislature passed the measure by more than a two-thirds margin last Wednesday.

Yesterday, Governor Bill Haslam (R) signed the bill.

Under current Tennessee state law, it is illegal to discriminate on the grounds of race, creed, color, national origin, religion, sex, or age. That law does not include protection on the basis of either sexual orientation or gender expression.

Nissan's involvement comes not only because it has $3.5 billion of investment in the state, but because it is on the executive committee of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, which had issued a statement supporting the bill.

Members include both large global companies (Alcoa, AT&T, Caterpillar, Comcast, DuPont, Embraer, FedEx, Pfizer, United HealthCare, and Whirlpool), and hundreds of smaller local companies.

The Chamber said its concern was that any employment requirements that differed from state law would "create an additional burden on companies that are endeavoring to be competitive and provide jobs to all Tennesseans based on their individual qualifications and merit."

Effectively, it raises the specter that the time and cost of not discriminating against gay, lesbian, and transgender Tennesseans who work for them--or apply to do so--might so burden local companies that they become uncompetitive, ultimately close up shop, and put many more Tennesseans out of work.

The Chamber and its members quickly came under criticism from civil-rights advocates who accused it of lobbying to quash the Nashville law. The outcry became so intense during the last week, in fact, that the Chamber reversed itself yesterday.


Advertisement
 
Follow Us

 

Have an opinion?

  • Posting indicates you have read this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
  • Notify me when there are more comments
Comments (16)
  1. It's kind of sad that the Corporate Communications Department felt the need to craft that convoluted statement so as not to use the G-word.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  2. I am embarresed to say I am a resident of TN. My partner and I have been together 25 years, we have paid an assload of taxes to the state. Thank you Nissan for taking a stand. I put myself through college and became an engineer. I came out finally about 15 years ago and my career has suffered. I don't come to work waving my rainbow flag and I don't need any special rights-just the same basic civil rights as the religious right.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  3. I totally agree with Nissan, a good, reliable worker is "Extremely hard to come by in this day and age. Why limit the job pool with frivoulus state regulations.
    States have too many important concerns to deal with than a person sexual preference.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  4. It's too bad companies like Nissan put a lot of money into these "tea party, extreme right wing, excentric, redneck" states. This is what they are going to get from those GOP people-haters that have been elected as governors and legislators.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  5. Let's see...Nissan only supports anti-gay laws until they pass. After that, they're against anti-gay laws. Ok - got it.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  6. Nissan doesn't want to lose a sale........plain and simple. Money in their hands is still money no matter where it comes from.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  7. I agree with Matt & Ernie. I have been looking at the new Nissan 370Z but I will not buy a car from them until this law is repealed. They are on the board of directors for the Chamber so either they knew what was going on or they are incompetent.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  8. NISSAN is very guilty in this case. They company chaired the Chamber and championed the bill as the prime mover against the Nashville contractors bill that required companies doing business with the city to certify that they have policies protecting their gay employees against discrimination. Why? Because they did not like that provision as a company that had many contracts with the state of Tennessee.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  9. Meh.. Who'd want to drive a shatty Nissan anyway. Their slogan should be: Nissan. The car for when you've given up on life.
    My partner & I are both shopping for new cars this year. Guess who's not on the list?
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  10. I picked up my Nissan Leaf the day this news broke. I don't think their statement is strong enough. If a study was done I would bet that the people buying their electric car are mostly progressives. Progressives care about the environment for the planet and for people. So while I love my Leaf, and the solar panels that run it, I am really disappointed in the company.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  11. we need two new cars in the next year of so. Until Nissan comes out with an absolute support of gay / trans people statement and deeds not just words.........
    We wont even go to their dealerships.
    and our trip to nashville - re country music - forget it also.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  12. I suppose that because it's now so "politically incorrect" to persecute black people, these poisonous hicks need another target on which to expend their venom, that is when they're not in their churches babbling about their Sweet Jesus. Sanctimonious hypocrites and moral degenerates, the whole da***d lot of them.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  13. This is not exclusive to Nissan. Look at the list of companies who for one reason or the other have been able to maintain operations in the state of TN. The hypocrisy of the bill and the orginor of the bill is as follows.
    ASK any of the residents of the state of Tennessee that have lost jobs when the plants in the Johnson City closed or the other almost 10% unemployeed in Tn if they had voice in the sexcual orientation of the person who worked next to them while they made 40 hours a received a pay check. It is the ignorance of this bill in this job market that is overwhelming. I suppose the author of this bill things everyone drives a ford. Maybe in Tn, but not the rest of the global economy. You get my point.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  14. Tennessee should be ashamed of itself.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  15. Thank you Nissan. Smart.
     
    Post Reply
    -1
    Bad stuff?

  16. Good for Tennessee, we need more people willing to stand up against the facism of the radical and militant "alternate lifestyle" movement. The poor people who are in "transition" or homosexual, need love and psychologial theraphy, not enabling of their mental illness, and recruitment of more people into the "lifestyle".

    I for one will not be buying any more Nissan or Infinity automobiles.
     
    Post Reply
    -1
    Bad stuff?

 

Have an opinion? Join the conversation!

Advertisement
Advertisement
Try My Showroom
Save cars, write notes, and comparison shop with hi-res photos.
Add your first car
Take Us With You!
   
Advertisement

 
© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.