After anti-LGBT laws were passed in Mississippi and North Carolina, acts ranging from Bruce Springsteen and Nick Jonas to Wicked and Cirque du Soleil canceled appearances, costing those states millions of dollars in lost revenue.
And now that Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed HB 1840, giving therapists the right to refuse LGBT patients,the Volunteer State is facing a celebrity backlash of its own.
The stars of ABC’s Nashville, which has filmed in city since it premiered in 2012, are speaking out: Before HB 1840 was signed into law, Connie Britton told The Hollywood Reporter “Honestly, if they proceed with this, I’m not necessarily going to feel comfortable working there.”
“That is a tricky situation—because of course we employ a lot of people in the state, and you certainly don’t want to have to interrupt that,” she added, “But at the same time, this is the only way that we can have our voices be heard.”
Britton’s co-star Chris Carmack, who plays gay country singer Will Lexington, called the anti-LGBT legislation “devastating.”
“The state is basically setting an example for people that it’s okay to discriminate,” he told the Reporter, adding that it sets back people “who might be about to change their minds about something that they’ve believed in their whole lives.”
Carmack and his fiance, Erin Slaver, are shopping for a house in Nashville, but are reconsidering that decision in the wake of the new law.
“We said, ’Do we want to live in a place like this?'” says the actor, who got his big break on The O.C.
“I know right now everyone is calling on big corporations to step in and voice their opinions—because money matters in something like a political forum—but I guarantee you that there are many more individuals like myself and my fiancee who are potential long-term transplants from all over, who are saying, ’Is this a place I would want to call home—a place that would write this sort of thing into legislation?'”
He also addressed HB 2414, a proposed bill before the Tennessee legislature that bans transgender students from using bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.
Below, listen to Carmack’s impassioned plea for the LGBT community.