Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Memphis newlyweds

Robert and Derek, the Memphis couple who were married in California recently, are profiled in Saturday's Commercial Appeal.

"We weren't doing it for any other reason other than we wanted to be married," Blaudow said. "We quickly realized as we sat there that something was going on around us that was bigger than what we were looking for ourselves."

That may change, though. I had the opportunity to speak by phone with Robert today and the couple are looking to find ways to get more involved in working for equality in Tennessee.

TEP Shelby County Committee co-chair Jonathan Cole explains some of the issues TEP is working on that could benefit same-sex couples:

Because of the state constitutional amendment two years ago, area gay rights organizations such as the Tennessee Equality Project are focusing on issues other than marriage.

"We're intent on following some battles we can win," said Jonathan Cole, co-chairman of the Shelby County committee of the Tennessee Equality Project.

The state group is working to enact anti-discrimination legislation that would help same-sex couples seeking benefits, Cole said, a problem Norman and Blaudow are already familiar with.

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