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.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Shelby County Committee at Mid-South Pride

The Shelby County Committee of TEP had a great day at the Mid-South Pride Parade and Festival last Saturday. The parade had a bigger lineup and more spectators than last year. Tennessee Senator Beverly Marrero and House Representative Jeanne Richardson joined the TEP walking group in the parade, spoke from the festival stage, and hung out with us at the TEP festival booth. In the 10+ years I have been attended Memphis Pride events, this is the first time I've observed elected officials marching in the parade. Thanks Beverly and Jeanne!

Many other candidates and elected officials came to celebrate pride at the festival including: U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen, State House Representative G.A. Hardaway (Cooper Young's district), State House Representative Mike Kernell, City Councilman Edmund Ford, Jr., City Councilwoman Wanda Halbert, County Trustee Paul Matilla, Carol Chumney (former City Councilwoman, State Rep., and Mayoral candidate), and David Upton (delegate to Democratic Party National Convention). I can't remember a Pride event that drew so many public officials.

The TEP booth was busy with activity. Almost 60 new people signed up to receive information updates from TEP. With the help of Nike TN GLBT & Friends Network, TEP raised over $100 in donations.

Festival participants completed over 400 postcards to send to the Memphis Mayor and City Council calling for passage of a comprehensive Non-Discrimination Ordinance that protects all citizens from discrimination in employment, housing, education, services, and public accomodations on the basis of age, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation or physical characteristics. Thanks to everyone who took the time to complete cards to the Mayor and their city council representatives. This level of citizen action will certainly catch the attention of our city government as TEP works to promote the Non-Discrimination Ordinance.

Click here for more coverage and pictures of Mid-South Pride.

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