Bonnaroo blasts Tennessee's 'anti-LGBT' therapist law
Bonnaroo blasted a new Tennessee law that allows licensed counselors and therapists to refuse clients, calling out the measure as "anti-LGBT" on the music festival's official Twitter account.
Gov. Bill Haslam signed the controversial legislation into law Wednesday. It gives the licensed professionals protections from civil lawsuits, criminal prosecution and sanctions by the state licensing board if they opt out of providing services for clients whose outcomes or behaviors are in conflict with the counselor's "sincerely held principles." They must provide the client with a referral.
"Despite this setback for equality, Bonnaroo will continue to be a force for promoting and embracing openness and acceptance," one of Bonnaroo's tweets read.
The measure doesn't specifically mention people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, but advocates like the Tennessee Equality Project and professional organizations like the American Counseling Association have criticized the law for discriminating against LGBT people. Proponents of the law say it balances the rights of counselors with the rights of the clients.
The annual music festival in Manchester, Tenn. is expected to draw tens of thousands of people this year and it takes place June 9-12 in Manchester, Tenn. The Bonnaroo Instagram account published a post about their stance on the measure:
"We are deeply disheartened by the recent anti-LGBT legislation that passed in our home state of Tennessee. Despite this setback for equality, we believe Bonnaroo has been, and will continue to be, a force for promoting and embracing openness and acceptance.
Over the past 15 years we have forged a strong bond with the Tennessee community and while we have no plans to relocate, we intend to use our voice to champion equal rights and help end discrimination for everyone everywhere. We hope that our fans will join us in radiating positivity in the face of this unfortunate action. #NoHateInMyState#RadiatePositivity"