LGBT+ Rights at the State/Local Level: Lessons from Tennessee

Document Type


Publication Date



In 2016, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed into law the “Counseling Discrimination Bill,” which allows a licensed counselor in a private practice to use personal (i.e., religious) beliefs as an reason to terminate care or refer away LGBT+ clients, as long as they refer the client to another counselor. In that same year, the state legislature and governor defunded the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion, which had spearheaded a number of LGBT+ activities and initiatives around campus. In this interactive discussion, scholars from different Tennessee institutions (and/ or who were raised and educated in Tennessee) will discuss how their scholarship and activism has been shaped by, and is helping to inform, LGBT+ policy in Tennessee, and how these lessons might be applied in other state/local contexts. The panelists will speak to a number of questions, including: How can my scholarship inform LGBT+ policy in my state? How do I connect with policymakers, practitioners, and organizations that could benefit from my expertise? How can I contribute to local advocacy efforts, and what might be my appropriate role in those efforts? How do I get involved in this arena at different stages of my career? and How can I help interested students get involved?


Albuquerque, NM

This document is currently not available here.