Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill earlier this week that would make it harder for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to seek mental health services -- legislation Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said is not good for business.
"We're against this," Berke said. "We have lots of problems in our state and in our country and this really isn't one of them."
The bill is on its way to the governor's desk.
Berke said Chattanooga had the third-highest wage growth in the country for a mid-sized city. "We want to see that momentum continue, and anything that takes us off that track is not good for the city," he said.
Tennessee is the latest state, following Georgia and North Carolina, to propose controversial anti-LGBT legislation. A host of major companies like Salesforce.com (CRM) - Get salesforce.com, inc. Report , IBM, Netflix, Facebook and Apple slammed North Carolina's bill, which would mandate transgender people to use the restroom that aligns with the gender printed on their birth certificates.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff was particularly against the legislation, saying in an interview in Time that bills that limit the rights of gays are "anti-business."
Deutsche Bank (DB) - Get Deutsche Bank AG Reportabandoned a plan to create hundreds of jobs in the state due to the legislation. PayPal (PYPL) - Get PayPal Holdings Inc Report also nixed proposals to expand operations in the state due to the law.
"I hope Tennessee doesn't follow the path of North Carolina and others," he said, adding that he would urge the governor not to sign the bill into law.
"We're going to do whatever we can to make our state and city an attractive place," he said. "I think Chattanooga has a lot going for it, and hopefully this is just a side issue that will eventually be taken care of."