- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Almost 200 Tennessee companies are aligning against proposals they fear would encourage discrimination.

The group Tennessee Thrives says the state must stay welcoming, regardless of race, sex, national origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Companies involved include HCA, FedEx, Jack Daniels and Country Music Television.

A new Tennessee law lets mental health counselors refuse patients treatment based on the therapist’s religious or personal beliefs. Calling it a “hate bill,” the American Counseling Association cancelled a Nashville convention.

A new North Carolina law directs transgender people to use school and government building bathrooms aligned with the sex on their birth certificates.

Citing the law, the NBA moved its All-Star game and the NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference sent championships out of state.

A similar bill failed in Tennessee earlier this year.

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