Diane Black, 2018 candidate for Tennessee governor

Go to the 2018 Gubernatorial Videos main page to find out more about the letter the Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT) sent, the questions we asked, and the process we followed in making sure as many candidates as possible participated in this video voter guide.

Each candidate was given the choice of either coming into FACT’s headquarters for interview-style videos with FACT President David Fowler or shooting the videos themselves. Diane Black decided to let FACT shoot the videos.

To view the transcribed text from the video, click on the plus sign. To collapse the text window, just click the minus sign.


What do you think is the primary function of civil government?

Diane Black’s answer transcribed from video

I think there are two primary functions. First of all, I think it is to protect our God-given rights. The second one is to make sure that our citizens are safe.

As far as the God-given rights go, I think that we are very lucky here in our state, because we have a state that has honored our God-given rights. And I think the state of Tennessee is a place that people are flooding to because they like the fact that we here in this state, we honor things that are God-given such as right is right and wrong is wrong, truth is the truth, a life is a life, God is God. I am very proud to live in a state where that is so. And I think during the time that certainly I have been in the state Legislature and now in Congress, that that has been something that has been very important for me. And I make sure that that is a big part of what I do is to be sure, whether it is here at the state or whether it’s at the federal level in Congress, that we are honoring what are our God-given rights.

The second piece of that is to keep us safe. And I think going back to looking at the kinds of things that keep us safe here, two of the things that might come to my mind, that as a legislator that you might have to handle here in the state as an executive, one of them is sanctuary cities. And I can tell you as the Governor, there will not be a sanctuary city in this state as long as I am in the executive branch. The second piece of that is to make sure that the refugee program—the refugee resettlement program that the last two administrations have given to the private sector, I would like to bring those back in because I want to have more say over who does come into our state and make sure that we are vetting them properly and that we are making sure that we do keep our citizens safe.


Do you think that either the concept of “gender,” as distinguished from “sex,” or “gender identity” should be included as a protected class in Tennessee’s civil rights laws? Why or why not?

Diane Black’s answer transcribed from video

No, I do not think it should. I will go back to who is our Creator? Our Creator created us. He created individuals. He created a man and He created a woman. And I don’t think that we need a special class.


Do you think the concept of sexual orientation should be included as a protected class in Tennessee’s civil rights laws?  Why or why not?

Diane Black’s answer transcribed from video

No, I do not. And I will tell you that just about a year or so ago, we had this issue come up in Congress. And I did not support a measure that would have allowed the LGBT to have a special class with federal contracts. I don’t think that’s necessary, and I would not support it here in our state.


If litigation over a new or existing law in Tennessee or even in some other state gave the United States Supreme Court an opportunity to reverse its 2015 decision regarding same-sex marriage, would it be your hope that the Court would do so?  Why or why not?

Diane Black’s answer transcribed from video

Well, it certainly would be my hope. First of all, I believe that we have the right here in our state to make that decision and we did. Back in 2006, when I was serving in the Legislature, you were serving in the Legislature, we had it on the ballot. And the people here of the state of Tennessee by an overwhelming majority, 81 percent, said that they wanted our state to honor marriage as between one man and one woman. And I was very disappointed that the Supreme Court took that away from us. We should have the Tenth Amendment right to say in our state how we define marriage. And if they overturned it, which I would hope that they would do at some point in time, I would celebrate.


If Roe v. Wade were ever overturned, what law or laws regarding abortion would you be willing to encourage the Legislature to enact and why?

Diane Black’s answer transcribed from video

Would that not be a day of celebration! You know, David, that that has been the core of who I am. And probably, if someone were to ask, what do you think that Diane Black’s greatest accomplishments have been since she was in both the state Legislature and now in Congress? it has been life.

I am very proud when I got to Congress that I was asked to carry a bill for life right away. And I actually said to the leadership I don’t feel comfortable with doing that—not because I don’t feel comfortable with the subject matter, because it is near and dear to my heart especially as a nurse who has brought life into the world and held it in their hand—but just because I didn’t have the seniority. But they asked me to carry that legislation because I am so pro-life.

And I had had the opportunity to make significant measures here in our state as we worked together on the whole issue of being able to get Amendment 1 on the ballot. SJR 127—carried it in the House. I carried it in the Senate. And that was a glorious day, even though I was in Congress and could not celebrate it as being a legislator in the state when that was passed to restore the commonsense protections for women who do choose abortion.

So, I would love the see the day, I revel in the day, I pray for the day that we as a nation will honor what God has given us. And when He says He knew us before He placed us in the womb, He says it in the Bible, and I believe that to be true. It is the truth. And I would love to see it overturned.

In the meantime, what can we do to protect life as much as we possibly can? And I am proud to say in Congress I have been the sponsor of the Pain Capable bill so that at 20 weeks there could not be an abortion done after 20 weeks because we know that the baby –I don’t even call them a fetus. It is a baby –that that baby feels pain.

This last year I sponsored a bill, the Conscience Rights Act, that said that if you are a healthcare worker, that your employer can’t demand that you participate in that procedure of abortion, of killing a life.

So, I would look at the kinds of things we could do here in our state that would once again continue to protect a baby. But I would, more than that, celebrate that we were finally doing what the Lord tells us to do, and that is to protect the most vulnerable.


In 2016, the ACLU filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education against a local school district for discrimination because it had designated its multi-person locker rooms and bathrooms for use based on the student’s biological sex, even though it made accommodations for students who do not want to use those facilities based on their biological sex. What are your thoughts about whether schools should be allowed to have such a policy and whether the state should protect local schools from complaints and lawsuits over such policies?

Diane Black’s answer transcribed from video

So, this is pretty simple to me. I will go back to God made us. He made individuals. He made a man and He made a woman. And I say, for the men, they go into the men’s room, and for the women and the girls, they go into the women’s room. And you do your thing that’s a biological thing. You wash your hands and you come out. That’s it. It’s that simple.


Should the Attorney General continue to be appointed by the state’s Supreme Court justices or should that office be filled by popular vote of the people or by appointment of the Legislature in the same way they appoint the Secretary of State, Comptroller, and Treasurer and what is the basis for your opinion?

Diane Black’s answer transcribed from video

Well, so first of all, let’s get to the basis of my opinion is that the people should have more say in who their Attorney General is. And the closer we can get to the people, I think the better choices that the people are able to make. I am open to electing them popularly as we do our U.S. senators. That would be one option. The second option, as you have already indicated, is to allow the legislators, who are elected by the people, to make that decision. But at the end of the day, the most important thing is that we get this decision to be closer to the people so that the Attorney General can be held responsible to the people of the state of Tennessee.


What criteria would you apply in nominating someone to the Tennessee Supreme Court?

Diane Black’s answer transcribed from video

I would look at that individual’s past decisions as a judge to make sure that they met the criteria that we have in our state, and that is upholding the law, number one, and number two, that they made their decisions that would represent what we represent in this state and that is our Christian, our Judeo-Christian values.


In some states, religiously-based adoption agencies are being threatened with the loss of their state license to do adoptions if they will only place children in homes in which the marriage is between a male and female. What position would your administration take on that issue?

Diane Black’s answer transcribed from video

We had something similar to that here in our state a few years ago, actually when I was still in the state Legislature. Gov. Bredesen was the Governor at that time, and he had a commissioner of his children’s services that was not allowing children to go to the Baptist Children’s Homes to be able to have their foster care there.

It was just really curious to me, and I called her and I talked to her about that, Commissioner Miller, and she said it was because they were Christian. And I said, So? And she said, Well, it would be inappropriate if we would send a child that was of a, let’s say, Muslim faith or Jewish faith to the Baptist Children’s Home. And I said, Of course that would be ridiculous. That would be wrong on your part to put a child in the wrong home, in the wrong environment.

But this is just ludicrous to say that someone wouldn’t have a religious right, an organization have a religious right of conscience to be able to say when they place a child in a home, it would be according to what their beliefs were. And so, I would just be very upset. And after dealing with the commissioner and many conversations, she released that rule to say that the children couldn’t go to the Baptist Children’s Home.

Children are waiting for good, permanent families, for a forever family. To think that you would keep them from going into a religious home that would provide them a forever family that was solid and loving would just boggle my mind. And I would tell you, if that ever happens here in the state of Tennessee, I will definitely step in as the Governor and straighten that one out.