“Unconstitutional requirements for consumers to wear face masks in privately-owned businesses that serve the public may be a thing of the past in Tennessee, if state legislators approve a newly introduced bill in the state house. Citizens for Free Speech (CFFS), a nationwide non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the First Amendment, hailed the legislation as being an enormous step toward restoring the constitutional rights of citizens in all states.
“This is precisely what we have been calling for in all 50 states,” exclaimed CFFS Executive Director Patrick Wood. “We hear from business owners and employees from across the country who don’t want to enforce oppressive mandates, but they feel forced to do so under penalty of fines or closures at the hands of state officials.”
Gary Humble, founder of the activist organization Tennessee Stands, agrees, arguing that the bill “removes business owners from the threats of cancel culture and the political conversations surrounding masks and other overreaching policies.”
Republican state representative Susan Lynn, along with two co-sponsors, introduced the legislation on February 9, which “prohibits a person 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.”
The specific language in the bill would do more than outlaw businesses from requiring customers to wear face masks, which have been found to be dangerous for some healthy people. If passed, it would also prohibit businesses of public accommodation from requiring negative COVID-19 tests or proof of vaccination before serving customers.
“The idea that business owners, acting upon direct orders from government officials, should restrict the opportunity for free people to engage in commerce based upon medical procedures they may or may not have received is simply unconscionable,” said Wood. “We have long feared that the face mask mandates were only the beginning; that forcing people to cover their faces in public would lead to public acceptance of more onerous requirements such as negative tests and vaccines to simply live and interact in public places. Sadly, that’s exactly what is happening.”
“Passing this law is a big deal, Humble added. “We have abandoned laws that have been on the books for decades. We are pretending that the ADA and HIPAA laws just don’t exist anymore.”