Tennessee protests California 'moral judgement' and 'foolishness'

Mar 16, 2018

House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Randy McNally
Credit capitol.tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's Republican House and Senate leaders say the state isn't paying lawmakers or staffers to attend a California legislative summit.

In a letter Thursday, Senate Speaker Randy McNally and House Speaker Beth Harwell said the state won't cover the National Conference of State Legislatures conference trip in Los Angeles because of California's ban on state-paid trips to Tennessee.

California bans non-essential travel to states with laws deemed discriminatory against LGBT people, citing Tennessee's law letting mental health counselors refuse to treat patients based on the therapist's religious or personal beliefs.

Tennessee passed a resolution urging states to "to refrain from imposing moral judgment on their sister states as California has done in order to prevent escalating foolishness."

The letter says when California rescinds its ban, Tennessee will approve travel there.