Moving, amended, delayed: What to do this week to fight the Slate of Hate in TN

Your resistance to the Slate of Hate in Tennessee IS having an effect, but we can't stop yet.  Here's where the bills are and what you can do.

1. Moving.  HB836, the discriminatory adoption bill, advanced from a House subcommittee and is up in the House Judiciary Committee this Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. 

-Be a presence against the bill and Wear RED to the committee hearing.  RSVP and learn more at the link.

-Make calls to the committee members who will vote on the bill and urge them to vote NO.  Use this list and script.

-Email the whole House Judiciary Committee with this easy form

2. Amended.  HB1151, the anti-transgender locker room bill, was amended in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee last week to remove everything after the enacting clause in the bill, which means the portions of the bill targeting the transgender community.  We need to monitor the amended bill throughout the process to make sure the amendment sticks.  It is up for discussion in the same House Judiciary Committee meeting at 12:30 on Wednesday where the adoption discrimination bill is up for a vote.  RSVP at the link.

3. Delayed.  HB563, the Business License to Discriminate bill, was delayed last week after discussion on the House floor.  We expect it to be up for a vote on Thursday. 

- Use this form to generate an email to YOUR member of the Tennessee House of Representatives urging a NO vote on the bill.

-Find your State Representative by giving your street address at this link and then call your representative and say, "My name is ______________ from ______________.  I am calling to ask Representative ________________ to vote NO on HB563 on the House floor.  It takes important tools away from local governments and results in taxpayer funded discrimination.  Thank you."

Your financial support of work at this link helps us sustain our work against these bills

 

 


A week to raise your voice against discrimination: Here's how!

Speak up this week.  Three discriminatory bills are up for a vote in the Legislature.  Here's the calendar and what to do:

*Tuesday, March 12 at 9:00 a.m.  One of the adoption discrimination bills (HB836) is up for a vote in the House Children & Families Subcommittee.

1. Use this campaign to tell the subcommittee to vote NO.

2. Wear RED and attend the hearing on Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. in Cordell Hulll House Hearing Room 2. RSVP at this link.

*Wednesday, March 13 at 3:30 p.m.  The anti-transgender locker room bill (HB1151) is up for a vote in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. 

1. Use this campaign to tell the subcommittee to vote NO.

2. Wear RED and attend the hearing on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. in Cordell Hull House Hearing Room 2.  RSVP at this link.

*Thursday, March 14 after 9:00.  The Business License to Discriminate bill (HB563) is up for a vote on the House floor.

-Use this campaign to tell your member of the Tennessee House of Representatives to vote NO.  When you put your address into the form, it will find your representative and generate an email. 

Consider supporting our work financially at this link.  We are grateful for all you do to fight discrimination in Tennessee. 


State of Emergency: 3 discriminatory bills up a vote

So far, three anti-LGBTQ bills are up for a vote the week of March 3 in the Tennessee General Assembly. 

The first is a bill that allows private adoption agencies to discriminate against parents based on the religious views of the agency.  That hits LGBTQ parents and parents of different religions or no religion at all.  Public policy ought to be based on the needs of the child and whether the parents can provide a loving home.  Use this form to contact the subcommittee voting on the bill and urge them to vote NO

The Business License to Discriminate bill is also up in the House Commerce Committee on Tuesday. Here's the new email campaign to oppose that bill.

On Wednesday the anti-transgender locker room bill is up for a vote.  Take action against that bill at this link.

DONATE

Be present at the hearings in red

We encourage you to attend these important votes.  Wear red if you can to show that you are part of the group opposing these bills.  Here are the Facebook events for each event.  All of them take place in the Cordell Hull Building in Nashville:

*March 5 at 9am in House Hearing Room 4 on one of the adoption discrimination bills (HB1152)

*March 5 at 11:15 Press Conference in Cordell Hull Building

*March 5 at 1:30 pm in House Hearing Room 3 on the Business License to Discriminate bill (HB563)

*March 6 at 3:30 pm in House Hearing Room 2 on the anti-transgender locker room bill (HB1151)

Please, support our work with your contribution at this link.  We are grateful for your support that allow us to keep you informed and work against these awful bills.

Chris Sanders

Executive Director


Tennessee Clergy Opposed to the 2019 Slate of Hate

Members of the clergy residing in Tennessee endorse the following statement about anti-LGBTQ bills in the Tennessee General Assembly:

"As leaders of faith communities we oppose these bills in the Tennessee General Assembly. They promote discrimination rather than justice and demean the worth of LGBTQ people in our state.  We call on people of good will to join us in speaking out for basic fairness."

The bills are:

SB848/HB1152 by Sen. Hensley and Rep. Ragan and SB1304/HB836 by Sen. Pody and Rep. Rudd.   These bills promote state-sanctioned discrimination by private adoption agencies against prospective parents on the basis of religious and moral objection.

SB364/HB563 by Sen. Gardenhire and Rep. Zachary.  The Business License to Discriminate bill.  The bill casts businesses rather than the LGBTQ community as possible victims of discrimination and opens the door to taxpayer funded discrimination.

SB1297/HB1151 by Sen. Pody and Rep. Ragan.  While the bill seems to be about indecent exposure, it is a devious attempt to criminalize transgender and gender nonconforming people in restrooms and locker rooms.

SB1499/HB1274 by Sen. Hensley and Rep. Holt. This bill requires the Attorney General to defend school districts that engage in anti-transgender bathroom discrimination.  

SB1282/HB1369 by Sen. Pody and Rep. J. Sexton.  The Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act is an attack on marriage equality.

Clergy wishing to sign should send an email with their name AND city of residence to info@tnep.org .

Rev. John Feldhacker, Nashville

Rev. Viki Matson, Nashville

Rev. Robert L. Early (ret.), Nashville

Rabbi Philip "Flip" Rice, Brentwood

Rev. Janet Wolf, Nashville

Pastor Greg Bullard, Madison

Rev. David E. McIntyre (ret.), Normandy

Rev. Wolf Cole, Savannah

Rev. Dr. Mary Louise McCullough, Nashville

Rev. Dr. Gordon D. Gibson, Knoxville

Rev. Jeff Briere, Johnson City

Rev. Susan Gardner (ret.), Hermitage

Rev. Cynthia Andrews-Looper, Gallatin

Rev. Brandon Gilvin, Chattanooga

Rev. William H. Berger, Franklin

Rev. Elaine Blanchard, Memphis

Rev. Tim Bath, Murfreesboro

Rev. April Baker, Nashville

Rev. Deborah Lynn, Nashville

Rev. Laura Bogle, Knoxville

Rev. Robert B. Coleman, Nashville

Rev. John Gill, Knoxville

Rev. Laura Becker, Chattanooga

Rev. Randy Shoun, Knoxville

Rev. Steve Wolf, Clarksville

Rev. Judi Hoffman, Nashville

Bishop Melvin G. Talbert (ret.), Hermitage

Rev. Theodore McKnight (ret.), Pleasant Hill

Rev. Dr. Brice Thomas, Nashville

Rev. Anne-Marie Zanzal, Nashville

Rev. Dr. Clay Thomas, Chattanooga

Rev. Paul Slentz, Nashville

Rev. RJ Powell, Knoxville

Rev. Carolyn Smith Goings, Ph.D., Dyersburg

Rev. Pamela Hawkins, Nashville

Rev. Dr. Diana L. Hynson, Nashville

Rev. Adam Kelchner, Franklin

Elder Blake Smith, Nashville

Min. Dahron Johnson, Nashville

Rabbi Joshua Kullock, Nashville

Rev. Mark C. Pafford, Smithville

Rev. James Bowman Harris, Cookeville

Rev. Ann McClure, Nashville

Rev. Beth Lefever, Memphis

Rev. Dr. Betty Dawson, Memphis

Rabbi Michael Shulman, Nashville

Rev. Michael Alford, Goodlettsville

V. Adrian Mehr, assistant clerk of the Memphis Friends Meeting (Quakers)

Rev. Becky Yates, Nashville

Rev. Carolyn Coleman, Nashville

Rev. Elliott Prigmore Lewis, Joelton

Rev. Phildora J. Prigmore Lewis, Joelton

Rev. Mark Miller-McLemore, Brentwood

Rev. Denise Gyauch, Nashville

Rev. Dr. Amy Mears, Nashville

Rabbi Katie Bauman, Memphis

Rabbi Micah Greenstein, Memphis

Rabbi Bess Wohlner, Memphis

Rabbi Sarit Horwitz, Memphis

Rev. Rob Van Ess, Memphis

Rev. Cheryl Cornish, Memphis

Rev. Gary White, Nashville

Rev. Dr. Jack Seymour, Nashville

Rev. Rebekah Gienapp, Memphis

Rev. Dr. Jonathan L. Jeffords, Memphis

Rev. Dr. LeNoir Culbertson,

Rev. Dr. Richard H. Gentzler, Jr., Gallatin

Rabbi Shana Goldstein Mackler, Nashville

Rev. Brandon Berg, Bristol

Rev. Mimi White, Memphis

Pastor Scott Wilks, Mountain City

Rev. Heather Harriss, Nashville

Rev. John Hill, Franklin

Rev. Carol Howard Merritt, Spring City

Rev. Brenda Carroll

Rev. Dr. Teresa Smallwood, Nashville

Dr. Joerg Rieger, Nashville

Rev. Billy Vaughan, Memphis

Rev. Darren Wright, Nashville

Rev. Paul R. Purdue, Nashville

Rev. Valerie Ohle, Knoxville

Rev. Dr. Herbert Lester, Jr., Nashville

Rev'd Timothy Holder, Elizabethton

Sandy Benson, Clerk, Memphis Friends Meeting

Rev. George R. Pasley, Martin

Rev. Amy C. Howe, Memphis

Rev. Brad Whitaker, Chattanooga

Rev. Jacob William Wood, Brentwood

Rev. April Berends, Chattanooga

Rev. Claire Brown, Chattanooga

Rev. J.W. Calhoun, Knoxville

Rev. Brian Davis, Chattanooga

Rev. Joe Woodfin, Chattanooga

Rev. J. Peter van Eys, Nashville

Rev. Ingrid McIntyre, Nashville

Rev. Cherie Parker, Nashville

Rev. Brandon Baxter, Nashville

Rev. Linda C. Parker, Nashville

Rev. Meredith Jane Day, Memphis

Minister Kaki Friskics-Warren, Nashville

Minister Bill Friskics-Warren, Nashville

Rev. Robert Galloway (ret.), Corryton

Rev. Dave McNeely, Jefferson City

Rev. Stephanie Dodge, Nashville

Rev. Susan Hay, Nashville

Rev. Dr. Sandy Shawhan, Bellevue

Rev. Vernon Denney (ret.), Nashville

Rev. Erin Racine, Nashville

Rev. Dr. Brian C. Wyatt, Elizabethton

Rev. Hope Hodnett, Nashville

Rev. Andrew B. Ward, Goodlettsville

Rev. Alaina Cobb, Chattanooga

Rev. Alison Lutz, Nashville

Rev. John M. McLean, Nashville

Rev. Catherine Clark Nance, Maryville

Rev. Jimmy Sherrod, Knoxille

Rev. William C. Stooksbury (ret.), Nashville

Rev. Edward Colf, Hendersonville

Deacon Ron Deal, Nashville

Rev. Allison Gossett, Nolensville

Rev. Ashley McFaul-Erwin, Nashville

Rev. Christy Jo Harber, Nashville

Min. Wesley King, Nashville

Rev. George Cunningham, Murfreesboro

Rev. Kristi Shay Moore, Nashville

 

 

Congregations endorsing the statement

Memphis Friends Meeting (Quakers)

RISE UP Community Church, Murfreesboro

 

 


Tennessee's 2019 Slate of Hate: Anti-LGBTQ bills in the General Assembly

Tennessee is consistently one of the top states for anti-LGBTQ legislation introduced every year.  2019 is no exception.  Here is a list of bills to watch.

SB848/HB1152 by Sen. Hensley and Rep. Ragan.  This bills protects private adoption agencies that discriminate against prospective parents based on the religious or moral views of the agency.

SB1304/HB836 by Sen. Pody and Rep. Rudd.  This bill is similar to the previous bill. 

SB364/HB563 by Sen. Gardenhire and Rep. Zachary.  The Business License to Discriminate bill.  The bill casts businesses rather than the LGBTQ community as possible victims of discrimination.  Government would not be able to disadvantage businesses in public contracts or grants if the internal policies of the business or nonprofit are discriminatory.  In other words, it opens the door to taxpayer funded discrimination.

SB1297/HB1151 by Sen. Pody and Rep. Ragan.  On its face, this bill seems to be about indecent exposure.  But it is a way of criminalizing trans and nonbinary people in restrooms and locker rooms. 

SB1499/HB1274 by Sen. Hensley and Rep. Holt. This bill is similar to a bill last year that required the Attorney General to defend school districts that engage in anti-transgender bathroom discrimination.  

SB1282/HB1369 by Sen. Pody and Rep. J. Sexton.  The Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act is back.  Earlier in the week, we saw evidence in the Cordell Hull Building that such a bill was being considered. 

What to do:

Watch for social media and email alerts from TEP for specific action to take as the bills are moving through committee.

Consider attending the next Advancing Equality Day on the Hill on March 5.  Email us at info@tnep.org if you want to attend or serve as a district captain.

Make a contribution to support our work.  Professional lobbying and organizing to produce a coordinated effort is not free.  Help us  fight back.

 

 


New adoption discrimination bill filed in Tennessee. Take action

Rep. Tim Rudd has filed a new bill protecting private adoption agencies, allowing them to turn away prospective parents based on the religious beliefs of the adoption agencies.  HB836 is similar to bills that have passed in Kansas and Oklahoma.

The Human Rights Campaign and other organizations will join TEP in opposing this discriminatory legislation that does not put the interests of children first.

Take action and call on Rep. Rudd to withdraw the bill using the form at this link.


Business License to Discriminate Bill is back

SB364/HB563, known as the Business License to Discriminate Bill, is back.  The bill previously passed the Tennessee Senate in 2017, but it didn't move in the Tennessee House last year. 

The bill automatically raises suspicions because it shows concerns about businesses being "discriminated" against by government, rather than the real discrimination endured by LGBTQ people.  The bill opens the door to taxpayer funded discrimination against real people.  If, for example, a business has a policy of not treating married same-gender couples the same as different-gender couples, government could not refuse to contract with them solely on that basis.

Equality advocates will be on the Hill on Feb. 5 working against the bill. 

If you would like to support TEP's work, you can make a contribution at this link.


The crucial difference about the new legislative session and what you can do

The upcoming state legislative session is really going to be different from the recent past.  Why?  Not only are most of the leadership positions in new hands, but about 1/4 of the members of the Tennessee General Assembly are new.

Why does that matter?  It matters because many of them have probably never had a substantive conversation about LGBTQ public policy.  They may know LGBTQ people and they may have read about the issues our community faces, but they have probably not sat down and talked in depth about legislation that could help or hurt our community.

So we have a major opportunity to shape their understandings.  We need your help for that.  Please, attend an Advocacy 101 session near you.  Those are listed below.  Think about becoming a district captain for one of the Advancing Equality Days on the Hill.  Those are also listed below.  If interested, email us at info@tnep.org .  And make your year-end contribution to the TEP Foundation at this link.  Your contribution makes it possible for us to train and prepare advocates to talk with legislators about these vital LGBTQ public policy issues.

January 8:  Murfreesboro Advocacy 101

January 12:  Nashville Advocacy 101

January 15:  Lunch orientation to the Cordell Hull Building

January 26:  Cookeville Advocacy 101

January 28:  Memphis Advocacy 101

January 30:  Knoxville Advocacy 101

February 5:  Advancing Equality Days on the Hill--Part 1

March 5:  Advancing Equality Days on the Hill--Part 2

April 2:  Advancing Equality Days on the Hill--Part 3

Gratefully yours,

Chris Sanders

Executive Director


Updated Advocacy Opportunities with TEP

Here is an updated list of advocacy opportunities in the new year. 

Attend Orientation:  On January 15, we will have an orientation to the Cordell Hull Building in Nashville where legislative offices and committee rooms are located.  This orientation is ideal for beginners.  RSVP at the link.

Days on the Hill:  Plan now to make the trip to Nashville at least once during the legislative session to speak in person with your legislators.  We have three Advancing Equality Days on the Hill.  Here are the dates and links so you can learn more:

Part 1 on February 5

Part 2 on March 5

Part 3 on April 2

If you are interested in being a district captain, which is a lead position for meetings with legislators, be in touch at info@tnep.org .

Postcard Writing:  Prior to Advancing Equality Days on the Hill, we will attempt to hold postcard writing events on LGBTQ-related bills.  The first Nashville event is Feb. 3 at Tribe.  RSVP at this link.  We are working on an event to be scheduled in Knoxville.

Advocacy 101 Sessions:  We are planning these around the state, but if you want to help bring this preparatory class to your region, contact us at info@tnep.org.   The Murfreesboro session is January 8.  RSVP at this link.  The Nashville session is January 12.  RSVP at this link.  The Memphis session is January 28. RSVP at this link.  The Morristown session is tentatively January 21.  We will update you as we have more information.

Contribute:  Another way to help is to make a financial contribution so we can continue to invest in expert lobbying and the contact management systems that allow us to fight for equality in a professional and effective manner.

We are grateful for all your support, which grows the movement.


Preparing for the 111th Tennessee General Assembly

Tennessee Equality Project has been preparing for the 111th General Assembly of the State of Tennessee that convenes at Noon on January 8. 

We need your help to complete our preparations.  Here is what you can do.

Attend Orientation:  On January 15, we will have an orientation to the Cordell Hull Building in Nashville where legislative offices and committee rooms are located.  This orientation is ideal for beginners.  RSVP at the link.

Days on the Hill:  Plan now to make the trip to Nashville at least once during the legislative session to speak in person with your legislators.  We have three Advancing Equality Days on the Hill.  Here are the dates and links so you can learn more:

Part 1 on February 5

Part 2 on March 5

Part 3 on April 2

If you are interested in being a district captain, which is a lead position for meetings with legislators, be in touch at info@tnep.org .

Postcard Writing:  Prior to Advancing Equality Days on the Hill, we will attempt to hold postcard writing events on LGBTQ-related bills.  The first Nashville event is Feb. 3 at Tribe.  RSVP at this link.

Advocacy 101 Sessions:  We are planning these around the state, but if you want to help bring this preparatory class to your region, contact us at info@tnep.org.   The Murfreesboro session is January 8.  RSVP at this link.  The Nashville session is January 12.  RSVP at this link.  The Memphis session is January 28. RSVP at this link.  The Morristown session is tentatively January 21.  We will update you as we have more information.

Retired Persons in Middle Tennessee:  Retired persons can play a special role in the upcoming legislative session by helping when LGBTQ-related bills come up in committee.  We have an orientation for you on December 4. RSVP at this link

Contribute:  Another way to help is to make a financial contribution so we can continue to invest in expert lobbying and the contact management systems that allow us to fight for equality in a professional and effective manner.

We are grateful for all your support, which grows the movement.

 

 

 



Donate Volunteer Find an Event

connect