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.

Friday, December 19, 2008

All I want for Christmas...

Well, I could fill in the blank with equal protection under the law, but that's a little too obvious. It might be a little more interesting if I actually asked for some things that would get us closer to that in Tennessee. So here they are:

1. The GLBT community in every city in Tennessee with over 50,000 people setting a political goal that they would work to achieve within 3 years. It could be any number of things--passing a nondiscrimination policy for their city government, electing an out official, or endorsing and electing a candidate who is honored to have the endorsement.
2. A governor who would support a nondiscrimination policy for all State employees. Think it can't happen in socially conservative state? Just look a few miles to the North at Governor Steve Beshear of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
3. Politicians whose votes were informed by the needs of their family and friends. What? Aren't they doing that already? Sure, some of them are on some issues. But I could name you some who either have gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender immediate family members or whose "best friends are gay" but aren't voting for equality at the federal and state level.
4. An epiphany for every high school student who is a member of a Church youth group. What if every one of them woke up one day and realized that if writing an interpretive paper on a 21st century novel is hard, then it might be even harder to interpret the Bible, which was written a few thousand years ago in other languages? I'm not saying everyone would or should change his or her mind about issues of gender and sexuality. But it would nice if there were a pause before they jumped from the pages of the Bible to opposing my rights. Fortunately, some Church youth groups do a good job at making teens realize that interpreting and applying the Bible is no easy task.
5. One major company that is considering relocating to Tennessee from out of state to tell the Governor, legislative leaders, and local officials, "We have a lot of GLBT employees and we hope they'll move with us, but they've heard about the hate crimes and the lack of government protections for their families. What can you say to convince us that our diverse workforce will be valued if we move to Tennessee?" Something like that happened in Oklahoma.
6. An openly gay coach of UT's football team who led them to a record number of victories. That would probably do more for the cause of equality in Tennessee than about anything I could think of. And if not the coach, a quarterback or a linebacker would do just fine. In some ways, the late Jackie Walker has already opened that door a little.
7. And speaking of Tennessee celebrities, how about more support from the country music industry? A few more interviews like this one with Toby Keith would be welcome.

Seven is a good number for now. I'm not expecting a Christmas miracle this year. It's a wish list, after all.

1 comment:

michaelnotmike said...

Extremely well said Chris.