Last Updated on February 15, 2021
As the Biden Administration and the CDC continue to flip-flop and move the goal posts regarding the use of COVID masks, first claiming they only needed to be worn for the first 100 days of the Biden presidency, and now claiming they need to be worn for the next year, Tennessee legislators are advancing a bill that would criminalize discrimination against non-mask wearers.
Tennessee lawmakers have crafted and introduced the Medical Non-Discrimination Business and Consumer Act. This bill is designed to prevent the private sector from discriminating against those who do not wear COVID masks in public places.
The legislation is crafted to include non-mask wearing into anti-discrimination and disability laws, bringing mask-wearing in line with laws preventing private businesses from general discrimination, the illegal invasion of medical privacy, and the violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
As written, the bill would prohibit any person and/or business owner from denying an individual the “full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation, resort, or amusement on the grounds of the wearing or use of a medical device, or whether the individual has received medical treatment, such as a vaccine.”
Put into practice, the legislation would keep stores, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, and any other form of business from requiring the wearing of masks or requiring proof of vaccination in order to obtain services.
This line of discrimination protection is copacetic with current anti-discrimination laws. The ADA reads in several sections that, “no individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of goods and services, without retaliation or coercion…covering any condition whether a physical or mental impairment…wherein mere presence does not constitute direct threat, even if contagious or noncontagious with transmissible diseases.”
One of the issues with mandated mask wearing and proposed “health passports,” is the violation of privacy protections surrounding medical records under HIPPA. Mandated mask-wearing doesn’t provide for those who have a right to “reasonable accommodation to receive full access to goods and services.”
Because of the untested water in the face of HIPPA laws, a person doesn’t have to divulge any ailment they may be currently being treated for or if they have a permanent condition. People who suffer from PSTD, psychological trauma, or rape are precluded from having to wear masks if it affects them in a disabling way.
Further, those who suffer from COPD, asthma, lung disease, and/or autoimmune diseases are precluded from mask-wearing because it is contraindicated for their afflictions.
Horowitz: Tennessee lawmakers introduce bill to prevent businesses from discriminating against customers without masks https://t.co/otyHyY5bEF
— Daniel Horowitz (@RMConservative) February 15, 2021
The proposed law would place current mask policies in line with ADA and anti-discrimination regulations that the private sector – as well as the public sector – must currently adhere to.
Once the bill is signed into law it will ease the liability on businesses when those who are not required to wear masks engage a public or private establishment.
The law would also prohibit local governments within the State of Tennessee from enforcing any mandate from any level.