Tom Cogburn

  • Censure Commissioner Hurst, make Sevier County policies inclusive

    The racist and homophobic comments of Sevier County Commissioner Warren Hurst have shocked people across the country.  Please, add your name to protest his divisive words and call for policy change in Sevier County, Tennessee.  We will deliver your signatures to the Sevier County Government in November at the next county commission meeting.

    1,721 signatures

    To the Honorable Larry Waters, Mayor of Sevier County, and to the honorable members of the Sevier County Commission:

    Calls have gone out across the country for Commissioner Warren Hurst to resign over his racist and homophobic comments. While that decision is in his hands, we call on you to censure him by resolution of the Sevier County Commission and to update the employment non-discrimination policy of Sevier County Government to protect county employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.  We urge you to make this policy change by executive order immediately, to be followed by a confirming ordinance or resolution of the County Commission. 

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  • signed NO to Adoption Discrimination in Congress 2018-07-20 10:46:20 -0500
    Why is it that people cannot leave well enough alone??? There are kids in various agencies who need permanent homes. LGBTQI individuals are available to adopt them, but then we have people like Robert Aderholt, who wish to make a name for themselves by launching an attack on the LGBTQI community and these innocent children!! Does he believe that LGBTQI adults are incapable of raising children? Love, understanding, discipline, support, etc. These are qualities that most adults have (or can develop). These are the qualities that are needed to rear a child. A person’s orientation doesn’t have an impact on their ability to raise kids. Perhaps he’s of the belief that if a child is raised by a gay person, that child will turn out gay. Believe me, that’s not how it works. I was raised by heterosexual parents and turned out gay.

    It’s time to leave us the hell alone!

    NO to Adoption Discrimination in Congress

    A foster care and adoption license to discriminate measure was recently put into a health and human services funding bill in the House Appropriations Committee.

    The “Aderholt Amendment” allows foster care and adoption service providers across the country to discriminate against children and prospective parents based on sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and marital status.

    We need your help to tell Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker:  NO ADOPTION DISCRIMINATION in the 2019 Appropriations bill!  We will deliver hard copies to their offices.

    1,049 signatures

    Dear Senators Alexander and Corker:

    We urge you to act to oppose the Aderholt amendment allowing discrimination in foster care and adoption services in the FY19 House Labor-HHS appropriations bill and ensure that the measure is NOT included in any Senate or final appropriations bill.

    It would allow taxpayer-funded foster care and adoption service providers to discriminate against children in care and against prospective parents, based on sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and marital status.

    The measure breaks the cardinal rule of child welfare services: to act in the best interest of the child. This amendment would actually HARM CHILDREN.

    This amendment would greatly harm the 440,000 children in foster care, particularly the 117,000 who are waiting to be adopted into loving, forever homes.  There is a crisis in foster care due to the huge shortage of available families for children. Each year, over half the children waiting to be adopted do not find a loving home, and most devastatingly, over 17,000 foster youth age out of care without a forever family.  Those youth are at greater risk of involvement with the criminal justice system, homelessness, unemployment, and being trafficked.

    Speak out against this poison pill amendment,; let your leadership know you will not support a funding bill with the measure included, and vote against any appropriations measure that includes such discriminatory provisions.  Thank you for considering our views.

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  • Urge Senators Alexander and Corker to speak up for LGBTQ people when the next Supreme Court justice is appointed

    Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring so the President will name a successor who must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.  Sign to urge Senator Alexander and Senator Corker to speak up for the LGBTQ community during the confirmation process.  TEP will deliver a hard copy of the signatures to their offices.

    1,069 signatures

    Senator Alexander and Senator Corker:

    When the President announces his choice to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, we urge you to speak up for the rights of LGBTQ people.  It is vitally important that members of the Supreme Court support the principle of "equal protection" and that Justice Kennedy's successor uphold the existing rights of LGBTQ people and oppose discrimination against LGBTQ people.  We respectfully ask you to raise these concerns publicly and not to vote for any nominee who supports discrimination.

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  • donated 2017-12-19 08:09:13 -0600

    Support the TEP Foundation's Work

    $4,055.00 raised
    GOAL: $6,000.00

    Please, considering making your tax deductible contribution to the TEP Foundation.  Your investment supports programs like Voter Registration Drives, Advocacy 101 training sessions around the state, Boro Pride in Murfreesboro that more than doubled its attendance this year, and Tennessee Open For Business that encourages an inclusive business environment in our state.  We are grateful for all your support.

    Donate

  • signed Governor Haslam, Veto SB1085/HB1111 2017-04-27 22:08:04 -0500

    Governor Haslam, Veto SB1085/HB1111

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    Add your name and urge Governor Haslam to veto SB1085/HB1111, the Sneaky LGBT Erasure Bill.  After you sign the petition, share it with your friends.  We will deliver a hard copy of the signatures to the Governor's Office.  Your voice can help determine whether he uses the VETO pen or the BECOMES LAW pen!

    5,722 signatures

    Dear Governor Haslam,

    We ask you to veto SB1085/HB1111.  This bill, as the Attorney General has noted, is broadly written.  Its vagueness could result in conflicts with existing laws about judicial interpretation.  These conflicts are likely to cause discrimination against LGBTQ people, particularly with respect to marriage, adoption, and legal documents.  This bill risks subjecting Tennessee to the same scrutiny that North Carolina has received.  We cannot afford hundreds of millions of dollars in economic boycotts and sanctions.  Please, veto this bill so we can avoid judicial chaos and costly discrimination.  Thank you for considering our views.

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  • signed LGBTQ open letter to our fellow Tennesseans 2016-12-19 20:49:32 -0600

    LGBTQ open letter to our fellow Tennesseans

    664 signatures

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    An open letter from Tennessee's LGBTQ community to our fellow Tennesseans

     

    As members of the LGBTQ community, we write to our fellow Tennesseans a month after the election and a month before the upcoming state legislative session.

     

    In recent weeks members of our community have experienced grave assaults on our safety and dignity.  A gay, gender nonconforming man was murdered.  A transgender woman’s car was burned. The signs and doors of a church that affirms our community have been vandalized.  A gay couple received a package with a knife sticking out and a message attached urging them to leave the state. 

     

    These attacks upon individuals and institutions have put our lives and safety at even greater risk than usual.  They contravene the welcoming traditions of hospitality for which Tennessee is known.  

     

    The time we have entered is critical.  Many are calling for healing in the wake of a divisive election. Healing is difficult while fresh wounds are being inflicted such as discriminatory state legislation.

     

    So we are speaking out for our safety, dignity, and equal rights under the law.

     

    Our struggle is not against your values, unless you value discrimination.  LGBTQ Tennesseans are your neighbors, your family members, your health care providers, firefighters, grocery clerks, teachers, elected officials, and we fill many other roles vital to the life of small towns and large cities.  Many of us grew up and continue to be active in the same faith communities as you.  

     

    In the long story of our community’s struggles, we have relied on our own strength to sustain us.  We have also experienced the joy of  working with countless allies.  Now is a time for allies to speak out with us and we  invite people of good will throughout the state to build a stronger, inclusive, welcoming Tennessee to meet our state’s common challenges together.

    If you share these values and priorities, we invite you to add your name to this letter.

    Add signature

  • signed Tennessee Loves Target 2016-05-03 13:13:21 -0500

    Tennessee Loves Target

    ellyahnnaTarget.jpgTarget's trans-inclusive policies are under attack in Tennessee.  A Mt Juliet pastor's rant went viral and this week at a Hendersonville Target, protesters shouted religious wrath at employees and customers.  But we know that Tennessee loves Target and it's time to show it!

    As former TEP Board member Ellyahnna Hall (pictured) notes:  

    "I support Target for trying to provide a safe space for all people. I'm a trans woman and I've faced the dangers of not having access to restrooms that corespond to my gender identity. If opponents are really concerned with safety then let's focus on tougher rape laws and enforcing those, not creating a fake danger that doesn't exist."

    Sign the petition statement and show Target some love.  We'll deliver hard copies of the petition to select Target locations in Tennessee.


                                

    1,050 signatures

    Tennessee loves Target.  I support the company's transgender-inclusive policies and I will continue to shop at their stores.                                               

     

     

    Add signature

  • endorsed 2016-04-18 22:56:46 -0500

    Stop using religion to discriminate in Tennessee

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    On April 18, 2016 about 30 pastors shamefully stood in Legislative Plaza and spoke in favor of the anti-transgender student bathroom bill.  And religion was used to advance the counseling discrimination bill.  Many more clergy across Tennessee publicly opposed both bills.

    Whether you're religious or not, aren't you tired of religion being used to support discrimination in our laws?  If so, endorse this statement:

    We oppose the use of religion to justify discrimination in Tennessee law.  To use religion to divide us in our public life violates the spirit of the U.S. and Tennessee Constitutions, does harm to the people of Tennessee, and brings scandal to religion.

    Endorse

  • signed Governor Haslam, Keep listening and oppose HB2414 2016-04-17 10:58:46 -0500
    Tom Cogburn

    Governor Haslam, Keep listening and oppose HB2414

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    Sign this NEW petition urging Governor Bill Haslam to keep listening to the voices opposed to the anti-transgender student bathroom bill!

    1,533 signatures

    Governor Haslam, please continue to oppose HB2414 and listen to the voices of transgender students and the business community speaking out against the bill.  Thank you for considering our views.

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  • endorsed 2016-04-12 05:38:42 -0500
    I sent Gov. Haslam a lengthy message entitled, “Please VETO HB1840” this morning.

    As a hospital based social worker for over 25 years I attempted to explain that client needs are more important than the personal or religious belief systems than mental health providers.

    I gave him specific examples of how clients with HIV/AIDS in the 80’s and 90’s were discriminated against in those early days of the crisis. I also told him of witnessing discrimination against a transgender woman in an ER where I worked. ER doctors simply refused to see her. They kept skipping over her chart—making fun of her as she sat waiting to be seen in the examination room. After hours of waiting she finally left the ER without being seen. Finally, I told him of the LGBT students I work with at a Tennessee Baptist affiliated school in Jefferson City. If mental health providers at the school are allowed to refer these students to other providers due to their personal, religious beliefs, then these students will have little or no options for services.

    I’m hopeful that he (or his aides) will read my note to him.

    I asked Governor Haslam to veto HB1840, the counseling discrimination bill

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    Take a minute to contact Governor Bill Haslam by phone message or on Twitter and then let us know you did it using this form.  Let's get to 500 or more!

    I called or Tweeted Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and urged him to veto HB1840, the counseling discrimination bill.  I'm asking you to do the same this week.

    Endorse

  • posted about VETO Hate Bill 1840, the Counseling Discrimination bill on Facebook 2016-04-06 13:25:05 -0500
    Sign the petition: VETO Hate Bill 1840, the Counseling Discrimination bill

    VETO Hate Bill 1840, the Counseling Discrimination bill

     

    Please, add your voice and urge Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to veto this discriminatory bill.

    4,239 signatures

    Dear Governor Haslam,

    We urge you to veto HB1840, which allows counselors to turn away clients based on the counselor's biases and values.  This bill puts the focus on the desires of counselors rather than on the needs of clients, damaging the counseling profession and putting clients at risk. 

    An anti-bullying amendment was stripped from the bill in the House Health Committee leaving youth vulnerable in areas where mental health services are not widely available.

    Thank you for considering our views.

    Add signature

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