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.97 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.
Sara Mitchell signed Urge Gov. Haslam to protect LGBTQ state government employees 2018-12-21 10:30:40 -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.642 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.1,048 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.
Sara Mitchell signed Urge Senators Alexander and Corker to speak up for LGBTQ people when the next Supreme Court justice is appointed 2018-06-27 23:03:34 -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.1,068 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.
Sara Mitchell donated 2017-12-29 07:45:42 -0600$3,900.00 raisedGOAL: $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
Sara Mitchell posted about Tell iStock/Getty to remove violent, anti-LGBTQ images on Facebook 2017-09-21 13:22:06 -0500Sign the petition: Tell iStock/Getty to remove violent, anti-LGBTQ images
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.
Sara Mitchell commented on Condolences to Mayor Megan Barry and her Family 2017-08-03 10:45:09 -0500My heart breaks for you. My kids are nearly the same age. Your son was a lovely young man.
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
Sara Mitchell commented on Pride Volunteers 2017 2017-05-15 18:59:32 -0500Murfreesboro Pride, maybe Nashville and Upper Cumberland
Please, tell us your name, email address, and for which Pride festival you will be volunteering. For example, are you volunteering for Knoxville Pridefest? If so, note that. Thanks.Send feedback
Sara Mitchell commented on YOUR Districts 2017-05-12 00:51:41 -0500Sate Senate District 14 Jim Tracy
Sate House District 48 Bryan Terry
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!5,719 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.
Sara Mitchell donated 2018-10-01 10:12:19 -0500
As a monthly supporter of Tennessee Equality Project, your contribution funds the advancement of policies through direct and grass roots lobbying which protect the rights of LGBT people and their families here at home in Tennessee. Contributions to TEP (a 501(c)(4) organization) are not tax deductible.
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Checks and automated bank drafts may be mailed to the following address:
Tennessee Equality Project | P.O. Box 330895 | Nashville, TN 37203
Thank you for supporting Tennessee Equality Project.Donate
Sara Mitchell posted about Demand EEOC pursue LGBT job discrimination cases on Facebook 2017-01-30 12:40:35 -0600Sign the petition: Demand EEOC pursue LGBT job discrimination cases
On January 27, Slate reported that the EEOC may withdraw from a case involving job discrimination against Amiee Stephens, a transgender woman. New Commission chair Victoria Lipnic said "Administration-related changes" were the reason.
1. Send your own email to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org and urge the Commission to continue pursuing cases of LGBT job discrimination.
2. Sign the petition. If we reach or exceed 1000 signatures, we will deliver them to the Nashville EEOC office.388 signatures
We urge you to continue viewing job discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people as sex discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In particular, you must continue to pursue the case of Amiee Stephens and other cases like it.
Your own report indicates there were 1768 charges of anti-LGBT job discrimination in 2016. In many states, there are no explicit protections for LGBT workers. Without your efforts, LGBT people are often defenseless against job discrimination. You must continue to pursue these cases.
Thank you for considering our views.
Sara Mitchell posted about LGBTQ open letter to our fellow Tennesseans on Facebook 2016-12-17 22:39:58 -0600Sign the petition: LGBTQ open letter to our fellow Tennesseans664 signatures
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.
Sara Mitchell donated 2016-07-22 14:30:27 -0500$4,610.00 raisedGOAL: $4,000.00
Murfreesboro Pride takes place on August 27, 2016 on the square in Murfreesboro. Use this form to purchase sponsorships. We will contact you after you make your payment to confirm the name of your business or organization.
The following are the sponsorship levels with benefits. Note that benefits are cumulative.
1. Blue/$100--Name recognition on webisite
2. Purple/$250--One social media mention
3. Magenta/$500--Name recognition on website, one social media mention, organization/company name on Pride shirt
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6. Gold/$1500--Name recognition on website, one social media mention, organization/company name on Pride shirt, mention from Pride stage, video post or special article on the website, Step and Repeat photo booth banner logo, ability to speak from the Pride stageDonate
Sara Mitchell posted about No special legislative session for bathroom discrimination! on Facebook 2016-05-18 23:17:18 -0500I oppose a special legislative session for discrimination. Will you join me?
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.
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.
Sara Mitchell posted about Stop using religion to discriminate in Tennessee on Facebook 2016-04-20 23:30:00 -0500I'm tired of religion being used to discriminate in Tennessee. Aren't you?
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
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.
Sara Mitchell endorsed 2016-04-12 10:14:26 -0500Please call or tweet Governor Haslam to ask him to veto HB1840. This harmful bill targets our most vulnerable population when they are seeking counseling for the first time.
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
Sara Mitchell posted about Keep Tennessee Open For Business on Facebook 2016-04-10 08:31:38 -0500I'm endorsing Tennessee Equality Project. Please join me!
The response to discriminatory laws in Indiana, North Carolina, and Mississippi makes it clear that everyone is affected. So we all have a role to play in making sure that Tennessee is able to attract good jobs and keep our economy open for business. That includes conservatives, independents, and business people, too. Please, endorse Keep Tennessee Open For Business. Use your voice and your influence to speak out for a prosperous Tennessee.
Economic opportunity allows individuals to live up to their potential and keeps families strong. Discriminatory laws in other states have resulted in billions of dollars of losses because of boycotts and companies reconsidering their investments . Tennessee cannot afford to go down that road. Legislation like HB1840, which allows counselors to discriminate, and HB2414, which micromanages which bathrooms students are allowed to use, risks Tennessee's prosperity.
I endorse Keep Tennessee Open For Business to say that I stand for economic opportunity for our state and against discriminatory legislation that poses a threat to our future.Endorse