Nashville’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce board of directors voted last night to rescind the membership of CoreCivic and refund the company’s $300 membership fee.
The decision came after an outreach meeting for the board to hear concerns from the community about the initial decision to allow CoreCivic to join the chamber.
“Thank you to everyone who participated in that discussion. We appreciate your input and all perspectives on the issues at stake,” the board said in a press release.
The release went on to state, “CoreCivic is a large corporation based in Middle Tennessee with a large number of LGBT employees around the country. CoreCivic reached out to us to help them provide more resources to their LGBT employees and to broaden diversity with their suppliers. In order to work with CoreCivic on those initiatives, the Nashville LGBT Chamber board accepted their application and fees for corporate membership. That membership did not imply a tacit endorsement on how they handle all LGBT issues or condone all of their business practices.
The voices at our meeting last night were very clear. Their membership was too much for many in our LGBT community. We heard those concerns and last night our board voted to remove CoreCivic as a member and return their $300 membership fee. While CoreCivic will not be a member of our organization, the reasons we originally accepted their application to join are still true. Every industry has members of the LGBT community who are employees. It’s part of our mission to advocate for them and educate employers on how to support the needs of our community. To both support those employees and to fulfill our mission, we have extended an offer to work with CoreCivic on those initiatives but not as a member.”
The full statement from the Chamber’s board of director’s is below.