Lisa Howe

  • signed NO to Adoption Discrimination in Congress 2018-07-17 22:23:03 -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.

    1,049 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.

    1,068 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.

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  • signed Governor Haslam, Veto SB1085/HB1111 2017-04-27 20:09:49 -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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  • Demand EEOC pursue LGBT job discrimination cases

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    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. 

    TAKE ACTION!

    1. Send your own email to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at info@eeoc.gov 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

    Dear Commissioners,

    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.

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  • 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 No special legislative session for bathroom discrimination! via 2016-05-19 07:30:02 -0500
    Dear Speaker Ramsey and Speaker Harwell:


    HB2 will cost North Carolina $5 billion over the next 12 months. Let’s not make the Tennessee economy and its people suffer. Hateful legislation has already cost Nashville significant money, though Nashville’s reputation for and resolve of inclusivity, wisdom and acceptance will not be moved. It’s time to stop wasting time and money and move ALL of Tennessee forward, not just Nashville.


    We can judge the content of our character by how we treat the most vulnerable among us. What is Tennessee’s character?


    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.

    No special legislative session for bathroom discrimination!

    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.

    Add signature

  • signed No Discrimination in Federal Contracts! 2016-05-20 08:54:57 -0500
    If the U.S. government is contracting with a business, then that business should protect all of its tax-paying employees regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

    No Discrimination in Federal Contracts!

    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.

    Add signature

  • endorsed via 2016-04-30 09:20:15 -0500
    Stripping resources for diversity and inclusion is exactly opposite of what other flagship state universities are doing.

    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

  • endorsed 2016-04-26 07:40:57 -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

  • endorsed 2016-04-12 06:48:10 -0500
    HB1840 says it is Tennesseans principles to discriminate. This will affect how companies, talent, conventions, and tourists invest in our state.

    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

  • Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce endorsed 2016-04-10 07:37:16 -0500

    Keep Tennessee Open For Business

    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

  • 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

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