O’Donnell Statement Calling for TennesseeTravel Ban in Response to Anti-LGBT Legislation

Pushes for 3rd time for passage of A6913 to Ban State-Funded Travel to Places that Discriminate

Assemblymember O'Donnell made the following statement in response to Tennessee Governor Haslam's signing into law anti-LGBT legislation:

“I am extremely concerned that I must make this request for the second time this year. It is obvious that states and municipalities are using anti-LGBT legislation as a way to retaliate against the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of marriage equality. It is simply discrimination, and simply intolerable.

Today, I urge you to instate a travel ban to Tennessee. Governor Bill Haslam has signed a discriminatory bill into law. HB 1840 allows mental health professionals to deny service based on their "sincerely held principles" or religious beliefs. I do not have to extrapolate on how this is directly discriminatory to individuals that identify as LGBT or to those that hold any beliefs that are different from the beliefs of their medical provider. Any reason to deny medical treatment to any individual is an affront to medical ethics.

I was very appreciative for your swift implementation of travel bans to Mississippi and North Carolina. I now ask that you act just as swiftly to implement a travel ban to Tennessee.

I also urge you to lead NY in sending a clear, single message against such practices. I believe we can do that with my bill, A06913, which would prohibit NY State funded travel to states that use the free exercising of religion to wrongfully discriminate against individuals. New York is a progressive leader on human rights, and must make the equal treatment of all citizens a priority.

Our state's employees should not be put in a situation where they can be legally discriminated against or made to feel unsafe, and our state must not endorse any state or municipality's campaign against LGBT individuals. We must move our business to places that treat their citizens equally and fairly--as our country's Constitution guarantees and founding fathers intended,” O’Donnell said.