Randy Cox

  • 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.

    1,740 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 2018-07-19 13:37:03 -0500

    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.

    1,050 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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  • posted about LGBTQ open letter to our fellow Tennesseans on Facebook 2016-12-17 17:00:15 -0600
    Sign the petition: LGBTQ open letter to our fellow Tennesseans

    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.

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  • signed Tennessee Loves Target 2016-05-03 11:17:29 -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

  • posted about I asked Governor Haslam to veto SB1912 and defend diversity at UT-Knoxville on Facebook 2016-04-30 18:58:37 -0500
    I'm endorsing Tennessee Equality Project. Please join me!

    I asked Governor Haslam to veto SB1912 and defend diversity at UT-Knoxville

    Please, take action about Senate Bill 1912 that defunds the University of Tennessee-Knoxville's Office for Diversity and Inclusion.

    Call Governor Haslam at 615-741-2001 and ask him to Veto Senate Bill 1912 and defend diversity.  It's fine to leave a message.

    OR

    Tweet him @BillHaslam with #VetoSB1912 .

    When you have called or tweeted, let us know you did it with this form.  NOTE:  You don't have to live in Tennessee to participate.

    Endorse

  • posted about Defend Diversity at UT-Knoxville: Veto SB1912 on Facebook 2016-04-22 14:49:46 -0500
    Sign the petition: Defend Diversity at UT-Knoxville: Veto SB1912

    Defend Diversity at UT-Knoxville: Veto SB1912

    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.

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  • posted about Outworking Discrimination on Facebook 2016-04-19 05:45:15 -0500
    Outworking Discrimination takes all of us in Tennessee. I'm all in. Are you?

    Outworking Discrimination

    $2,000.00 raised
    GOAL: $2,000.00

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    The forces of discrimination aren't just hanging on; they're actually working harder after marriage equality was won in all 50 states.  New attacks on transgender people, efforts to give counselors the ability to turn away LGBT people, increasingly hateful rhetoric from the religious Right, and more are just a few of the challenges.

    We can win by OUTWORKING DISCRIMINATION!  When you make a tax deductible contribution to this TEP Foundation campaign, we can invest in new, innovative efforts to engage the faith community including those in socially conservative denominations.  We can develop a business network in Tennessee that can be a counterbalancing voice when attacks come.  We can do more to shape a media message for equality. 

    YOU make it possible.  Put us to work.

    Donate

  • posted about Stop using religion to discriminate in Tennessee on Facebook 2016-04-19 05:33:03 -0500
    I'm tired of religion being used to discriminate in Tennessee. Aren't you?

    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

  • posted about Governor Haslam, Keep listening and oppose HB2414 on Facebook 2016-04-14 12:56:01 -0500
    Sign the petition: Governor Haslam, Keep listening and oppose HB2414. Will you help us get more signatures?

    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!

    1,534 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.

    Add signature

  • posted about VETO Hate Bill 1840, the Counseling Discrimination bill on Facebook 2016-04-07 09:20:07 -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.

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  • Governor Haslam, Fight for trans students and against SB2387/HB2414

    Please, join us in encouraging Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to fight against this attack on transgender students.

    985 signatures

    Dear Governor Haslam,

    We call on you to do everything in your power to lobby against passage of SB2387/HB2414, the anti-transgender student bathroom bill.  We also ask that you VETO the bill if it reaches your desk. 

    The bill endangers vulnerable students and it risks significant U.S. Department of Education funds to Tennessee.  If this bill became law, the enforcement would be a nightmare for school districts across the state. 

    Show the world that Tennessee is a welcoming state.  Thank you for considering our views.

    Add signature

  • posted about The People's Resolution Opposing Tennessee House Joint Resolution 529 on Marriage Equality on Facebook 2016-02-05 07:24:16 -0600
    I'm endorsing Tennessee Equality Project. Please join me!

    The People's Resolution Opposing Tennessee House Joint Resolution 529 on Marriage Equality

    Sign on as a co-sponsor of the People's Resolution Opposing Tennessee House Joint Resolution 529 on Marriage Equality.

    WHEREAS, Rep.  Susan Lynn has introduced a resolution urging the members of the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee to express their disagreement with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges; and

    WHEREAS, the Tennessee Constitution affirms "That the citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together, for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances or other proper purposes, by address or remonstrance;" and

    WHEREAS, the State of Tennessee ought to be focused on the legal equality of all its people rather than attacking the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community; and

    WHEREAS, "the equal protection of the laws" is a cherished principle in American jurisprudence; now, therefore,

    BE IT RESOLVED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, that we oppose House Joint Resolution 529 and urge the members of the 109th General Assembly of the State of Tennessee to uphold the entire Constitution of the United States, including the Fourteenth Amendment, and cease their legislative attacks on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.

    Endorse

  • endorsed 2015-08-18 07:59:29 -0500

    Updated with response: Stand against the hate of Minister Ben Bailey of the Central Church of Christ in McMinnville

    UPDATE:  Minister Ben Bailey of the Central Church of Christ called us this morning and talked about his views.  He is not pro-equality, but he wants to make absolutely clear that he does NOT support the stoning of LGBT people.  You can read his response at the link

    The New Civil Rights Movement has reported on the teachings of Minister Ben Bailey of the Central Church of Christ in McMinnville in which the pastor tries to justify the stoning of LGBT people as biblical. 

    People of faith and people of no particular faith alike reject the dangerous extremism of Pastor Bailey.  At a time when hate crimes are up against LGBT people in Tennessee and at a time when the nationwide murders of transgender people in particular have reached crisis levels, such hate has no rightful place in religion or in civil society. 

    Despite the pastor's notoriety, hate will NOT define McMinnville or the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.  We were in McMinnville recently for the Summer of Love tour with a strong showing of equality advocates.  Read the report if you doubt there are many great people in the area living their hopes for full equality.  Upper Cumberland Pride, which serves the region, is an organization that is growing again and now reunited to TEP.  We know they will continue to raise awareness for the safety and equality of LGBT people in the area.

    We urge people of good will across the state and nation to stand with those in McMinnville and the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee and against the hateful rhetoric of Pastor Bailey.  Add your name as a show of solidarity!

    Endorse

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