Theodore McKnight

  • signed NO to Adoption Discrimination in Congress 2018-07-17 17:14:26 -0500
    Theodore McKnight

    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.

    1,049 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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  • 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.

    1,068 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

  • signed Demand EEOC pursue LGBT job discrimination cases 2017-01-30 17:11:28 -0600
    We cannot allow the Trump administration to bully us into abandoning our moral principals.

    Demand EEOC pursue LGBT job discrimination cases

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    On January 27, Slate reported that the EEOC may withdraw from a case involving job discrimination against Amiee Stephens, a transgender woman.  New Commission chair Victoria Lipnic said "Administration-related changes" were the reason. 

    TAKE ACTION!

    1. Send your own email to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at info@eeoc.gov and urge the Commission to continue pursuing cases of LGBT job discrimination.

    2. Sign the petition.  If we reach or exceed 1000 signatures, we will deliver them to the Nashville EEOC office.

    388 signatures

    Dear Commissioners,

    We urge you to continue viewing job discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people as sex discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  In particular, you must continue to pursue the case of Amiee Stephens and other cases like it. 

    Your own report indicates there were 1768 charges of anti-LGBT job discrimination in 2016.  In many states, there are no explicit protections for LGBT workers.  Without your efforts, LGBT people are often defenseless against job discrimination.  You must continue to pursue these cases.

    Thank you for considering our views.

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  • signed No special legislative session for bathroom discrimination! 2016-05-21 13:42:44 -0500
    The legislature has done too much damage to transgeder people already, we don’t need more.

    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.

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  • signed No Discrimination in Federal Contracts! 2016-05-07 14:17:46 -0500
    Don’t spend your valuable time trying to undo the valuable work that has been done to protect the rights of minorities. We don’t want to be seen as the most backward state in the U.S.

    No Discrimination in Federal Contracts!

    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.

    554 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.

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  • signed Tennessee Loves Target 2016-05-03 14:55:41 -0500

    Tennessee Loves Target

    ellyahnnaTarget.jpgTarget'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.


                                

    1,050 signatures

    Tennessee loves Target.  I support the company's transgender-inclusive policies and I will continue to shop at their stores.                                               

     

     

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  • signed Defend Diversity at UT-Knoxville: Veto SB1912 2016-04-22 08:20:00 -0500
    The Office for Inclusion and Diversity at UT Knoxville is doing a vital job of education and support at a critical time in the lives of all students. Removing their funding is counter productive to the mission of an educational institution.

    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.

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  • posted about Stop using religion to discriminate in Tennessee on Facebook 2016-04-21 09:02:36 -0500
    I'm tired of religion being used to discriminate in Tennessee. Aren't you?

    Stop using religion to discriminate in Tennessee

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    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

  • 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.

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  • signed Governor Haslam, Fight for trans students and against SB2387/HB2414 2016-04-01 10:22:06 -0500
    This bill is totally unnecessary and harmful to all students, not just to transgender students, because it teaches discrimination. It also perpetrates an atmosphere of fear. Young people in our schools do not have a problem with this issue. Let’s not create one for them.

    Governor Haslam, Fight for trans students and against SB2387/HB2414

    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.

    Add signature

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