$2,310.00 raisedGOAL: $2,000.00
Giving Tuesday, an annual international day of giving, is December 3. Please, include Tennessee Equality Project in your giving plans. When you support TEP, you make it possible for us to fight back against adoption discrimination bills, anti-transgender student bathroom bills, and attacks on marriage equality. You give us the capacity to organize throughout Tennessee, and that allows us to defend the LGBTQ community. We are grateful for your support.
If you prefer to make a tax-deductible contribution to the TEP Foundation, you can do so at this link.Donate
Roger Schecter signed Censure Commissioner Hurst, make Sevier County policies inclusive 2019-10-28 11:56:30 -0500
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.1,741 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.
SB1297/HB1151, also known as the indecent exposure bill, was amended to remove the portions specifically targeting the transgender community. Legislators noted in committee meetings and during floor debates that it codifies existing law. If that is the case there is no reason to proceed. Given the long history of harassment of transgender people in spaces like restrooms, we believe Governor Bill Lee should veto the bill to prevent any anti-transgender misuse of the legislation.41 signatures
Dear Governor Lee,
We call on you to veto SB1297/HB1151. Even though it has been amended, risks remain for the transgender community in any bill that further enumerates Tennessee's indecent exposure law. Legislators commented during committee and floor debates that the bill merely codifies existing law. If that is the case, there is no reason to allow the bill become law, considering the potential harm to transgender people and the negative reaction of the business community.
Thank you for considering our views.
The people of Tennessee are speaking out against bills that result in discrimination against LGBTQ people in our state. Here is our statement with a summary of the bills.443 signatures
"As residents of Tennessee, we oppose these bills in the Tennessee General Assembly. They promote discrimination rather than justice and demean the worth of LGBTQ people in our state. We call on people of good will to join us in speaking out for basic fairness."
The bills are:
SB848/HB1152 by Sen. Hensley and Rep. Ragan and SB1304/HB836 by Sen. Pody and Rep. Rudd. These bills promote state-sanctioned discrimination by private adoption agencies against prospective parents on the basis of religious and moral objection.
SB364/HB563 by Sen. Gardenhire and Rep. Zachary. The Business License to Discriminate bill. The bill casts businesses rather than the LGBTQ community as possible victims of discrimination and opens the door to taxpayer funded discrimination.
SB1297/HB1151 by Sen. Pody and Rep. Ragan. While the bill seems to be about indecent exposure, its original text is a devious attempt to criminalize transgender and gender nonconforming people in restrooms and locker rooms. The bill has been amended in a House subcommittee to remove the portions targeting the transgender community. We want to make sure the amendment remains on the bill.
SB1499/HB1274 by Sen. Hensley and Rep. Holt. This bill requires the Attorney General to defend school districts that engage in anti-transgender bathroom discrimination.
SB1282/HB1369 by Sen. Pody and Rep. J. Sexton. The Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act is an attack on marriage equality.
$3,790.00 raisedGOAL: $2,500.00
Victories in the legislative arena are homegrown in Tennessee. Local professionals, volunteers, LGBTQ people, and allies make them happen. In 2018, TEP received no national financial support for our legislative efforts, but we beat all the discriminatory bills in that legislative session because Tennesseans took action. We welcome your support again in 2019 because Tennessee is one of the top states for the number of discriminatory bills filed every year. While your contribution to our legislative lobbying efforts through this portal is not tax deductible, it allows us to invest in professional, experienced lobbying and statewide organizing to bolster our defenses. We are grateful for your support.Donate
Roger Schecter signed Urge Gov. Haslam to protect LGBTQ state government employees 2018-12-21 14:50:23 -0600
Outgoing Ohio Governor John Kasich recently signed an executive order barring discrimination against state government employees on the basis of gender identity. Discrimination based on sexual orientation was already banned.
Outgoing Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam could do the same for our state government employees. Sign the petition and urge him to protect LGBTQ state government employees by executive order. If we get 1000+ signatures, we will deliver them to the Governor's office.646 signatures
Dear Governor Haslam,
We urge you to sign an executive order protecting Tennessee state government employees from job discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the same protections that Ohio state government employees enjoy thanks to the recent executive order signed by outgoing Ohio Governor John Kasich.
Employees of our public colleges and universities already enjoy these projections as do the public employees in Metro Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Memphis, and Knox County. Everyone deserves the opportunity to work without the fear of discrimination.
Thank you for considering our views.
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.1,052 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.
Roger Schecter signed Urge Senators Alexander and Corker to speak up for LGBTQ people when the next Supreme Court justice is appointed 2018-06-28 19:25:03 -0500
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.
Roger Schecter signed Tell iStock/Getty to remove violent, anti-LGBTQ images 2017-09-21 13:33:03 -0500
Nashville resident Jennifer Sheridan discovered some disturbing images among iStock/Getty's photographs that were tagged with anti-LGBTQ messages. Out & About Nashville reports that one of them represented the lynching of LGBTQ people.
TAKE ACTION: Go to this link and tell iStock/Getty to remove anti-LGBTQ images and tags from their collection. AND add your name to the petition below. Please, share with your friends.20 signatures
We call on iStock/Getty to remove anti-LGBTQ images and anti-LGBTQ tags from images in their collection. At a time when hate crimes against LGBTQ people are rising in Tennessee and other states, companies have a responsibility to take steps to promote respect. It is outrageous that a major collection of images used by the public would contain pictures and tags that demean and attack the LGBTQ community.
Roger Schecter commented on Condolences to Mayor Megan Barry and her Family 2017-08-03 13:26:38 -0500We are overwhelmed and saddened by your loss.
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and her husband Bruce recently lost their son Max. Members of the LGBT community and allies can leave their condolences here and we will deliver them to the Mayor. Please include your city in your comments. Thank you for showing your love for Mayor Barry and her family.Send feedback
Roger Schecter commented on YOUR Districts 2017-06-05 12:34:55 -0500Speaker Harwell
Tell us your state senate and state house districts. Note: We are NOT asking for your U.S. Senate and U.S. House districts (the elected officials who meeting in Washington, D.C. ). We are asking about your elected officials you meet in Nashville--your state senator and your state representative. You can find them at this link by entering your street address.
So tell us your state senator and your state representative as well as your email address. Thank you!Send feedback
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!5,723 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.
Roger Schecter posted about Push to the deadline on Facebook 2016-12-31 01:13:24 -0600Join me in making a tax deductible investment in the TEP Foundation.$655.19 raisedGOAL: $2,017.00
Help us end the year strong with your tax deductible investment in the work of the TEP Foundation. Your support grows programs like legislative tracking, Tennessee Open For Business, and Tennessee Equality Voice that shapes a media message for equality in our state. Now more than ever we need to speak out!
Roger Schecter wants to volunteer 2016-12-22 01:02:50 -0600
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.
Roger Schecter signed Give Nashville businesses a gender-neutral bathroom option 2016-06-04 22:50:43 -0500
In April the owners of the Wild Cow and Graze restaurants added gender-neutral signs to their single occupancy restrooms, but they were later told that this move meant they were no longer in compliance with the Metro code. They made the move to serve their customers and employees and to protest the Legislature's bathroom bill that was pending at the time. You can read about the background here.
Metro Nashville Councilman Brett Withers has filed a bill allowing businesses the option of gender-neutral bathrooms. You can read the bill at this link. The bill is up for second of three readings on June 7 at the 6:30 Metro Council meeting in the Metro Courthouse.
Sign the petition to show your support.150 signatures
We ask that the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County adopt BL2016-238 by Councilman Brett Withers and give Nashville businesses a gender-neutral bathroom option. This bill comes at the request of a local business and it is the right legislation for customers and employees. Thank you for considering our views.
Roger Schecter signed No special legislative session for bathroom discrimination! via 2016-05-21 21:43:48 -0500
On the evening of May 17, The Tennessean and The Commercial Appeal reported that legislators are considering a special legislative session to take up a new effort to pass a statewide anti-transgender bathroom discrimination law. Sign YOUR name to the statement below and we'll deliver your signatures to legislative leaders:1,073 signatures
Dear Speaker Ramsey and Speaker Harwell:
We oppose a special legislative session to consider an anti-transgender bathroom discrimination law. It is never justified to spend the state's time and money to advance discrimination. Thank you for considering our views.
In late April the U.S. House Armed Services Committee voted to undo President Obama's non-discrimination executive orders for federal contracts via the Russell amendment. This amendment is part of the National Defense Authorization Act.
Removal of the President's executive orders on non-discrimination would be a disaster for LGBT people in states like Tennessee that lack employment protections covering sexual orientation and gender identity.
Please, sign this petition to Tennessee's two U.S. Senators and nine members of the U.S. House of Representatives and we will make sure copies are sent to their offices.554 signatures
Dear Senators Alexander and Corker and Representatives Roe, Duncan, Fleischmann, Desjarlais, Cooper, Black, Blackburn, Fincher, and Cohen:
We oppose the Russell amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act and similar efforts to reverse President Obama's executive orders on employment non-discrimination for federal contractors. Protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is important to Tennesseans. Thank you for considering our views.
Target'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.
Tennessee loves Target. I support the company's transgender-inclusive policies and I will continue to shop at their stores.
Roger Schecter signed Defend Diversity at UT-Knoxville: Veto SB1912 2016-04-23 15:01:05 -0500Diversity is the business of education. Without diversity, there is no real learning
The Legislature passed SB1912/HB2248 that removes funding from the Office for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Sign this petition that we will deliver to Governor Haslam asking him to veto the bill.2,097 signatures
Governor Haslam, we call on you to veto SB1912/HB2248 and protect the University of Tennessee-Knoxville's Office for Diversity and Inclusion. The office plays a vital role in making the university competitive for the best students, faculty, and staff and it makes campus life welcoming for all. Thank you for considering our views.