The world’s first trans billionaire, Jennifer Pritzker has warned she will likely move her private family trust out of Nashville if Tennessee Republican lawmakers continue their ongoing attacks on the rights of LGBTQI+ individuals and communities through the enactment of discriminatory laws.
Transgender businesswoman Pritzker, is a retired U.S Army lieutenant colonel, and is on the Forbes Billionaires list, with a personal net worth of $2 billion.
Pritzker’s family started the Hyatt Hotels Group, and her warning is no empty threat. At a video news conference hosted by the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Pritzker said that “As a transgender woman, these unnecessary and hurtful laws are personal to me,”
“As a businesswoman, my larger concern is the impact they will have on Tennessee’s reputation and, ultimately, economic well-being, as businesses and tourists turn elsewhere. No state benefits from the perception that it is an intolerant and unwelcome place for people of different backgrounds, and it alarms me gravely to see this state vying for the title of least inclusive in the nation.”
15 Anti-LGBT Laws Face Corporate Backlash
Of the 15 bills that have been put forward one in particular – which bans transgender youth from competing in public, middle and high school sports based on whether their gender identity matches their gender at birth, was already been signed into law by Republican Governor Bill Lee.
Last year, Lee was also responsible for signing off on a bill which allowed faith-based adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples seeking to adopt.
Described by LGBTQI advocates as a “slate of hate” the bills also include two anti-transgender “bathroom” bills and efforts to drastically restrict hormone and other treatments for anyone under age 18.
However, Pritzker is not alone. Nissan North America, Amazon, Dell, Pilot, Mars PetCare and Warner Music Group are among many other businesses that have been public in their objection and disgust at these archaic bills.
Recently, Nashville LGBTQ Chamber Executive Director Joe Woolley said, “They call themselves pro-business Republicans, but they’re the ones who are passing this legislation and harming the state.”
#PressRelease: 184 Tennessee Businesses Sign Letter Opposing Anti-LGBTQ Bills
— Nashville LGBT Chamber (@NashLGBTCC) April 12, 2021
“Tennessee is the state with the most anti-LGBTQ bills filed this year. We are the state that’s had the most anti-LGBT bills filed since 2017, and we’re also the state that has the most to lose.”
Weighing in on the situation, Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, stated he “greatly appreciates these businesses for exercising their First Amendment voices with us. Sometimes we will have disagreements on policy, and sometimes we will agree. I look forward to continuing to move Tennessee in a conservative direction, which has allowed businesses to grow and prosper in our state.”
Pritzker, stated she is a long time conservative and warned that “Gov. Lee and a majority of the State legislators are creating an environment that will force me to consider moving my family’s business out of Tennessee.
“And because many families have at least one relative identifying as LGBTQ, I suspect other families will also consider moving out of Tennessee — and, when evaluating it for purposes of domiciling a private trust company, will not choose this state for the same reasons.”