Tennessee Clergy Oppose the General Assembly's Slate of Hate


Clergy wishing to add their names to this letter should contact us at [email protected]

As clergy serving the people of Tennessee, we oppose six pieces of legislation under consideration in the Tennessee General Assembly that attack the LGBT community. 

The values of justice and hospitality compel us to speak out for the dignity of LGBT people and to oppose any effort to enshrine discrimination in the laws of our state.

We urge all people of goodwill to join us in seeking fairness for all residents of Tennessee and to consider the unacceptable ramifications of the following bills:

SB30/HB33. The LGBT Erasure Bill.  By requiring that the words “father,” “mother,” “husband,” and “wife” be given their natural and ordinary meaning, this bill interferes with the identities and families of LGBT people.


SB127/HB54. The Business License to Discriminate Bill.  This subtly worded piece of legislation actually opens the door to allowing businesses and nonprofits to discriminate in their HR and benefit policies while using taxpayer dollars.


SB752/HB892. The Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act states the policy of Tennessee to defend marriage as only between one man and one woman regardless of what the courts say.


SB771/HB888. The Anti-Transgender Student Bathroom Bill. This bill requires students to use restrooms according to the sex designation on their birth certificates and not according to their gender identity.


SB1085/HB1111. The Sneaky LGBT Erasure Bill.  This bill does everything that SB30/HB33 does while trying to hide the effects upon the LGBT community from the public. 


SB1153/HB1406. The Attack on Parenthood Bill.  This bill repeals statute that deems a child born to a married woman as a result of artificial insemination, with consent of the married woman's husband, to be the legitimate child of the husband and wife.  This bill is directed at lesbian couples and could affect other couples.


Rev. Ken Edwards, Old Hickory, Wilson County

Rev. Gordon Gibson, Knoxville

Rev. Dr. Diana L. Hynson, Nashville

Rev. Jake Morrill, Oak Ridge

Rev. L. Susan Bond, Jackson

Rev. Joe-d DowlingSoka, Chattanooga

Rev. Steve Wolf, Clarksville

Rev. Jeff Briere, Johnson City

Rev. Judi Hoffman, Nashville

Rev. Elaine Blanchard, Memphis

Rev. Brandon Gilvin, Chattanooga

Rev. Pamela Hawkins, Nashville

Rev. Rik Rouquie, Nashville

Rev. Annie McClure, Nashville

Rev. Paul Slentz, Nashville

Rev. Beth A. Richardson, Nashville

Rev. Tim Kobler, Knoxville

Rev. Emily Reeves Grammer, Madison

Rev. John Feldhacker, Nashville

Rev. Kevin Mitchell, Murfreesboro

Rev. Christine Grace, Chattanooga

Rev. Susan Gray, Nashville

Rev. Anna Golladay, Chattanooga

Rev. Steven Sherman Oak Ridge

Rev. Laura Bogle, Maryville

Rev. J. Peter van Eys, Nashville

Rev. David McIntyre, Normandy

Rev. Greg Bullard, Madison

Rev. Heather Harriss, Nashville

Rev. Jim Hughes, Nashville

Rev. Tim Bath, Murfreesboro

Rev. Cynthia Andrews-Looper, Memphis

Rev. Andrew Ward, Nashville

Rev. Dr. Patricia J. Pickett, Ashland City

Rev. Jim Sessions, Knoxville

Rev. Susan Crawford, Cordova

Rev. Karen Kastler, Hendersonville

Rev. Norman Cunningham, Crossville

Rev. Slade Kyle, Memphis

Rev. Terri Weaver, Memphis

Rev. Tommy Sheppard, Memphis

Rev. Sarah Osborne, Memphis

Rev. Buddy Stallings Memphis

Rev. Kira Schlesinger, Nashville

Rev. Eric L. Murray, Knoxville

Rev. Ginger Isom, Chattanooga

Rev. Dr. Bindy Snyder, Memphis

Rev. Jeffrey Radcliff, Kingston Springs

Rev. Wolf Cole, Savannah

Rev. Ken Carroll, Chattanooga

Rev. Michael Alford, Goodlettsville

Rev. Carolyn Dipboye, Oak Ridge

Rev. Larry Dipboye, Oak Ridge

Rev. Aimee Moiso, Nashville

Rev. James Pappas, Sewanee

Rev. Kimberly Rodrigue, Nashville

Rev. Rachel Pence

Rev. Leonard Curry, Hermitage

Rev. Jeannie M. Hunter, Madison

Rev. Debra Dickerson, Hixson

Rev. Katherine H. Smith, Nashville

Rev. Bryan Curie, Nashville

Rev. Dr. Dale P. Andrews, Nashville

Rev. Leyla K. King, Chattanooga

Rev. C. Nolan Huizenga, Nashville

Rev. John S. McClure, Nashville

Rev. Karen Neely, Norris

Rev. Taylor W. Dinsmore, Chattanooga

Rev. RJ Powell, Knoxville

Rev. April Baker, Nashville

Rev. Thomas Artist, Jr., Elizabethton

Rev. John Mark Wiggers, Knoxville

Rev. Deven Hazelwood Johnson City

Rev. Margaret K. Zeller, Kingsport

Bishop Patrick Potts, Johnson City

Rev. Shane Smith, Kingsport

Rev. Canon Dr. James F. Turrell, Sewanee

Rev. Neil K. Raman, Memphis

Rev. Cal Calhoun, Knoxville

Rev. Chris Harpster, Kingsport

Rev. Lee M. Ragsdale III, Knoxville

Rev. Isaac Blevins, Chattanooga

Chaplain Jon Coffee, Knoxville

Rev. Dr. James Hudnut-Beumler, Nashville

Rev. Jason Bennett, Murfreesboro

Rev. Joy Warren, Murfreesboro

Rev. Shirley Bowman, Murfreesboro.

Rev. Brian Merritt, Chattanooga

Rev. Sandy Prigmore Lewis, Joelton

Rev. Keith Caldwell, Nashville

Rev. Canon William A. Kolb, Memphis

Rev. Ingrid McIntyre, Nashville

Rev. Beth Lefever, Cordova

Rev. Andrew B. Ward

Rev. Jason Shelton, Nashville

Rev. Carmen Emerson

Rev. Sam Teitel, Memphis

Rev. Chris Buice, Knoxville

Rev. Carol Bodeau, Knoxville

Rev. Denise Gyauch, Nashville






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