Tennessee’s Medical Non-Discrimination Business And Consumer Act Is Now Getting National Attention. Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina And Other States Are Now Looking Into Ways To Propose A Similar Bill In Their States.
Published February 18, 2021
Tennessee’s Senate Bill 320 (SB320), the Medical Non-Discrimination Business and Consumer Act is now getting national attention.
According to Humble, groups from Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina and other states are now looking into ways to propose a similar bill in their states based on coverage of the bill on Conservative media outlets.
As introduced, SB320 prohibits a person from denying an individual the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation, resort, or amusement on the grounds of the wearing or use of a medical device, or whether the individual has received medical treatment.
Senate Bill 0320 is sponsored by Senators Joe Hensley (R-Honhenwald) and Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma) and co-sponsored by Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mount Juliet).
The bill is strongly supported by Tennessee Stands and they helped lobby the bill in the State legislature.
Humble states that business owners shouldn’t be forced to medically discriminate against customers. They shouldn’t have to worry about the threat of lawsuits over a disease they can’t control, nor should they have to be concerned over the threat of having their businesses “canceled” because they can’t live up to the demands.
Humbles states, “Passing this law is a big deal. We have abandoned laws that have been on the books for decades. We are pretending that the ADA and HIPAA laws just don’t exist anymore.”
“We need our legislators, here in the Volunteer State, to step up and we’re asking you, as citizens of this state, to lead. And other states are watching. Conservatives in other states are watching what we’re going to do here,” Humble said.
Humble says the bill, “is stirring quite a bit of debate even amongst Conservatives.”
Some have argued that the proposed bill will undercut private property rights of business owners.
Larry Crain, Esq., from Crain Law Firm in Brentwood, TN states, “This argument is flawed for several reasons. First, there is no constitutional right as a business owner to arbitrarily deny one class of individuals access based on their medical status, or their willingness to produce medical documentation or submit to an interrogation regarding their exemption from wearing a medical device.”
“Secondly, the personal liberty interests of individuals to be free from unwarranted intrusion into their private, medical status outweigh the corporate interests of commercial entities which must take into account the discriminatory nature of their practices.”
“Finally, the ownership of commercial, private property does not confer the right to coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with a person on the basis of their medical status or condition,” Crain says.
“Can we all acknowledge, if we can just step outside our Covid brains for just a minute, that a year ago, or a little bit more than a year ago now, prior to Covid, we would have never imagined in the United States of American that a business could force someone to wear a mask, or to take a vaccine or a Covid test in order to receive goods and services?” Humble asked.
There has been some confusion, by some on the definition of “places public accommodation.”
Humble states that the bill does not affect all private property.
“It doesn’t affect your home, in fact, it doesn’t affect every business. It affects places of public accommodation…clearly defined our American Disabilities Act.”
Places of public accommodation include restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, coffee shops, amusement parks, etc.
If you are a brick-and-mortar business owner and support the bill, let the Tennessee Legislature know by signing the letter.
Or tell your legislators that you support the bill.