How to get the information you need during the legislative session
The bills that will be back in 2020
*The Business License to Discriminate bill (SB364 by Sen. Rose) has already passed the House floor. It will be up for consideration in the Senate State and Local Government Committee in the new year. The bill prohibits local governments and public entities from preferring companies with good workplace practices or taking adverse action against those with bad workplace policies. For example, if the bill passed, neither the University of Tennessee nor the City of Maryville could award more points in contract bidding to companies that have sexual orientation and gender identity in their non-discrimination policies.
*Adoption Discrimination bill (SB1304 by Sen. Rose) has already passed the House and is up for consideration by the full Senate in the new year. It would allow private adoption/foster care agencies that turn prospective parents away on religious grounds to be eligible for state grants and programs. In other words, it is taxpayer-funded discrimination. This bill has passed the Senate and is on its way to the Governor.
*Anti-transgender student bathroom bill (SB1499 by Sen. Hensley) has already passed the House. It is up for consideration in the Senate State and Local Government Committee in the new year. This bill requires that the Attorney General's office and resources be made available to defend local school districts that engage in anti-transgender discrimination.
New bills to fight in 2020
*Look for a bill called the God-Given Marriage bill pushed by some far Right groups that would end the licensing of marriage in Tennessee and replace it with a process whereby a man and woman would register their marriage contract with the state.
*A ban on transgender students participating in school athletics based on their gender identity by Rep. Griffey (HB1572). The bill provides severe penalties for school districts and school employees who do not comply.
How to support our work
*We have three Advancing Equality Days on the Hill scheduled for 2020--February 4, March 3, and April 7. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Other ways to be involved and stay in touch
CONTACT US: For general questions, contact us at email@example.com or leave a voice mail or text us at (615) 212-3947. Unfortunately TEP does not have adequate time and resources to handle research requests. Note: We do not provide social services and cannot give you legal advice. We may be able to make a referral in those cases.
MEDIA CONTACT: (615) 390-5252 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Chris Sanders, our executive director, will speak with you. N.B. This is a MEDIA contact. All other non-emergency requests should be directed to email@example.com or (615)212-3947. Prospective vendors who cold call the media number will be asked to send an email to set up a phone appointment if TEP has an interest in your product or service.
What does TEP do? The Tennessee Equality Project advocates for the equal rights of LGBTQ people in Tennessee. We do this through legislative advocacy. That means we lobby the Tennessee General Assembly and local governments around the state. When there is an important federal issue, like anti-LGBTQ adoption issue language in legislation, we help you make your voice heard with your federal officials.
What does the TEP Foundation do? The TEP Foundation provides a variety of educational and organizing programming. We have registered 364 voters online since October. 2017. We provide workshops called Advocacy 101 across the state so that more people can engage their elected officials. We monitor and analyze state legislation related to the LGBTQ community. We gather stories about the impact of state preemption of local government and provide public education on the issue. We hold Boro Pride in Murfreesboro annually. Our Tennessee Open For Business program recognizes companies that do not discriminate against their employees or customers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
You can support the TEP Foundation when you shop at Amazon. Simply go to our Amazon Smile link and make your purchases. 0.5% of your eligible purchase amount helps advance equality in Tennessee.
We are a member of the Equality Federation.