SB1297/HB1151, also known as the indecent exposure bill, was amended to remove the portions specifically targeting the transgender community. Legislators noted in committee meetings and during floor debates that it codifies existing law. If that is the case there is no reason to proceed. Given the long history of harassment of transgender people in spaces like restrooms, we believe Governor Bill Lee should veto the bill to prevent any anti-transgender misuse of the legislation.41 signatures
Dear Governor Lee,
We call on you to veto SB1297/HB1151. Even though it has been amended, risks remain for the transgender community in any bill that further enumerates Tennessee's indecent exposure law. Legislators commented during committee and floor debates that the bill merely codifies existing law. If that is the case, there is no reason to allow the bill become law, considering the potential harm to transgender people and the negative reaction of the business community.
Thank you for considering our views.
Robert Smith signed Urge Gov. Haslam to protect LGBTQ state government employees 2018-12-28 17:37:45 -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.647 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.
Robert Smith commented on YOUR Districts 2017-06-05 13:42:26 -0500Sen Jack Johnson (senate district 23)
Rep Charles Sargent (house district 61)
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
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.
Robert Smith donated 2016-06-29 11:10:33 -0500$2,830.00 raisedGOAL: $1,000.00
Two of TEP's founders--Jim Schmidt and Joe Woolley--have issued a challenge to our members. They are matching the first $1000 in tax deductible donations to the TEP Foundation. So that means that your contribution will be doubled! We are grateful for the commitment that Joe and Jim have made over the years to TEP and their ongoing leadership in many organizations that benefit Tennessee's LGBT community such as the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Victory Fund.
We hope you will join them in investing in our work this week. Note: We will let Jim and Joe know that you have made a contribution in their honor if you participate. Thank you!
Robert Smith signed No special legislative session for bathroom discrimination! 2016-05-23 06:29:10 -0500
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:1,074 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.
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.553 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.
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.
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.
Robert Smith endorsed 2016-04-21 21:50:02 -0500
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
Robert Smith endorsed 2016-04-12 05:37:00 -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
Robert Smith signed VETO Hate Bill 1840, the Counseling Discrimination bill 2016-04-07 06:29:35 -0500
Please, add your voice and urge Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to veto this discriminatory bill.4,242 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.
Robert Smith endorsed 2016-02-04 21:04:04 -0600
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