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.
Private practice in Nashville and Cheatham County endorsed 2016-04-27 17:34:49 -0500
The map shown above represents mental health providers in Tennessee who provide affirmative services, especially in regards to sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Please click on the top right of the map to make it larger so you can search your address/location to find counselors close to you and more information about them (e.g., website, e-mail address, insurance options, etc.).
The "Counseling Discrimination Law" (formerly HB1840) passed in 2016 highlights the need for counselors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and other mental health providers to speak out for inclusive and affirmative practices. We urge any mental health provider to endorse the statement at the bottom of the page.
As counselors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers serving clients in Tennessee, we affirm that we do not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity and we will not use our own sincerely held principles as a reason to turn clients away.
Note: The Tennessee Equality Project and the Tennessee Equality Project Foundation reserve the right to refuse membership to any provider or revoke a provider's listing.Endorse
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.
Patricia Sanders endorsed 2016-04-27 13:12:16 -0500
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
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.
Patricia Sanders signed Governor Haslam, Fight for trans students and against SB2387/HB2414 2016-04-08 20:33:13 -0500
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.
Patricia Sanders donated 2016-04-08 20:31:20 -0500$3,006.00 raisedGOAL: $3,000.00
Moving the Message--it's a critical part of fighting back against hateful legislation in Tennessee. When we reach more people, more voices rise against discrimination. That means we have a fighting chance of winning.
Help TEP invest in new communication tools to bring more allies into the fight so we can win more battles!
Let's see how much we can raise by April 15.Donate
Patricia Sanders signed VETO Hate Bill 1840, the Counseling Discrimination bill 2016-04-08 20:27:25 -0500I am an LPC/MHSP and personally and for the counseling profession against this bill. This bill is an embarrassment for our state and moves us backwards in time. The ACA provides our profession with the Code of Ethics that already offer protection for the public and counselors. Also, as a citizen, I am very concerned for the economic impact that may come with the signing of this bill. It seems to go against Republican, conservative stances of less governmental interference.
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.