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Tennessee Gov. Lee signs first-of-its-kind de-banking bill

Tennessee Legislature Building

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Matt Sharp, director of the ADF Center for Public Policy, regarding Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s signing of a landmark bill prohibiting discriminatory de-banking. Tennessee’s law prohibits major financial institutions like nationally chartered banks with at least $100 billion in assets, along with major insurance providers, from discriminating against otherwise qualified customers because of their political or religious views, speech, or affiliations. ADF attorneys had urged state lawmakers to adopt the legislation:

“Gov. Lee and state lawmakers have taken an important step forward in protecting the fundamental freedoms of Tennesseans of every political and religious stripe. This is a win for everyone. No one should be denied access to basic financial services because of their political or religious beliefs. Banks that are too big to fail are too big for bias. It’s the government’s duty to protect the fundamental freedoms of its citizens. That’s why Tennessee has done the right thing here and charted the course for other states to follow. ADF is thankful to the Pro-Family Legislative Network, Foundation for Government Accountability, the Tennessee Faith and Freedom Coalition, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Association of Mature American Citizens, and the National Committee for Religious Freedom for their invaluable expertise and support on this legislation. Additionally, we want to commend Sen. Majority Leader Jack Johnson and Rep. Jason Zachary for their leadership in passing this important bill.”

The following quote may be attributed to ADF Senior Counsel and Senior Vice President of Corporate Engagement Jeremy Tedesco:

“Big Banks and Big Tech pose threats to freedom like Big Brother does. What’s worse is the mounting evidence that Big Brother is enlisting Big Business in its censorship schemes. Government is too often attempting an end-run around the Constitution by outsourcing censorship to some of the most powerful corporations the world has ever known. But where the First Amendment is concerned, the government can’t do indirectly what it is forbidden from doing directly. This law protects against that kind of censorship, and it’s one key reason states should follow Tennessee’s example.”

The following quote may be attributed to Tennessee State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson:

“In Tennessee, we will not allow big corporate banks to use ESG factors to discriminate against consumers for their religious or political views. This troubling trend will not be tolerated in Tennessee. I was glad to work with Rep. Zachary and my colleagues in the Senate to pass this legislation and push back against viewpoint discrimination.”

The following quote may be attributed to Tennessee State Rep. Jason Zachary:

“Every Tennessean should feel secure in expressing their religious and political views without fear of their financial services being denied or canceled by their bank for non-financial factors. We have taken swift action to protect Tennesseans from this new trend of de-banking by the nation’s largest banks. I appreciate Leader Johnson and his efforts in the Senate and my Republican colleagues who supported the legislation.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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Matt Sharp
Matt Sharp
Senior Counsel, Director of Center for Public Policy
Matt Sharp serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where he is the director of the Center for Public Policy.
Jeremy Tedesco
Jeremy Tedesco
Senior Counsel, Senior Vice President of Corporate Engagement
Jeremy Tedesco serves as senior counsel and senior vice president of communications for Alliance Defending Freedom.