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.
Telisha Cobb signed Governor Haslam, Keep listening and oppose HB2414 2016-04-18 08:39:42 -0500This will be incredibly damaging not only to transgender students but to our economy. As venue owners in Tennessee our business is dependent on progressive touring bands and artists who have many options when it comes to routing a tour. Small & mid-size venues are plentiful across the country. They can easily leave Tennessee off the touring route. This is how we put food on our table to feed our family.
There are MANY venues, festivals and events who would feel this same effect across our state. If our revenue is impacted it means less tax revenue generated from liquor tax, sales tax and internet sales tax for online ticket sells for Tennessee.
If artists refuse to perform at a festival like Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN you could see a massive economic impact on this rural area and tax revenue generated for the State.
This is not progress and progress is a nonpartisan issue. Progress is essential to a healthy, vibrant business economy. This bill must be vetoed.
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.