Michael Finch

  • Censure Commissioner Hurst, make Sevier County policies inclusive

    The racist and homophobic comments of Sevier County Commissioner Warren Hurst have shocked people across the country.  Please, add your name to protest his divisive words and call for policy change in Sevier County, Tennessee.  We will deliver your signatures to the Sevier County Government in November at the next county commission meeting.

    1,741 signatures

    To the Honorable Larry Waters, Mayor of Sevier County, and to the honorable members of the Sevier County Commission:

    Calls have gone out across the country for Commissioner Warren Hurst to resign over his racist and homophobic comments. While that decision is in his hands, we call on you to censure him by resolution of the Sevier County Commission and to update the employment non-discrimination policy of Sevier County Government to protect county employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.  We urge you to make this policy change by executive order immediately, to be followed by a confirming ordinance or resolution of the County Commission. 

    Add signature

  • signed Veto SB1297/HB1151 2019-05-02 18:07:14 -0500

    Veto SB1297/HB1151

    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.

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  • Urge Gov. Haslam to protect LGBTQ state government employees

    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. 

    643 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.

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  • signed NO to Adoption Discrimination in Congress 2018-07-19 16:20:50 -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.

    1,050 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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  • posted about Urge Senators Alexander and Corker to speak up for LGBTQ people when the next Supreme Court justice is appointed on Facebook 2018-06-28 21:24:13 -0500
    Please sign! TEP is going to deliver hard copies of all the signatures to this petition urging Corker and Alexander to stand up for LGBTQ Tennesseans during the process of confirming the next Supreme Court Justice. This is a dire situation - please sign!

    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.

    1,069 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.

    Add signature

  • posted about YOUR Districts on Facebook 2017-05-12 19:24:08 -0500
    YOUR Districts: Tell us your state senate and state house districts as we prepare for next year.

    YOUR Districts

    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

  • posted about LGBTQ open letter to our fellow Tennesseans on Facebook 2016-12-17 15:46:08 -0600
    Sign the petition: LGBTQ open letter to our fellow Tennesseans

    LGBTQ open letter to our fellow Tennesseans

    665 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

  • posted about No special legislative session for bathroom discrimination! on Facebook 2016-05-17 22:16:40 -0500
    I oppose a special legislative session for discrimination. Will you join me?

    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

  • endorsed 2016-04-30 13:29:19 -0500

    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

  • posted about Defend Diversity at UT-Knoxville: Veto SB1912 on Facebook 2016-04-21 21:12:08 -0500
    Sign the petition: Defend Diversity at UT-Knoxville: Veto SB1912

    Defend Diversity at UT-Knoxville: Veto SB1912

    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.

    Add signature

  • posted about Governor Haslam, Keep listening and oppose HB2414 on Facebook 2016-04-14 13:58:45 -0500
    Sign the petition: Governor Haslam, Keep listening and oppose HB2414. Will you help us get more signatures?

    Governor Haslam, Keep listening and oppose HB2414

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    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.

    Add signature

  • posted about VETO Hate Bill 1840, the Counseling Discrimination bill on Facebook 2016-04-09 17:28:03 -0500
    Sign the petition: VETO Hate Bill 1840, the Counseling Discrimination bill

    VETO Hate Bill 1840, the Counseling Discrimination bill

     

    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.

    Add signature

  • endorsed 2016-01-22 16:29:53 -0600

    The People's Resolution Opposing Tennessee House Joint Resolution 529 on Marriage Equality

    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

23-year-old Poli Sci major, occasionally musician/vlogger. Interested in the YouTube community, politics, music, gender studies and the psychology of humor.
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