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.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Memphis Roundup: Outrage at Warren and predictions of GLBT rights law

Since Jonathan is away (hopefully getting a much deserved break), I thought I would blog these two pieces from the Memphis papers.

First, one of the twenty questions asked by the Memphis Flyer includes thoughts on whether Memphis will pass a nondiscrimination ordinance that includes sexual orientation and gender identity. They talked to Jonathan about this a couple of weeks ago:

The beating brought the lack of a nondiscrimination ordinance to light once again. Jonathan Cole of the Tennessee Equality Project says pushing for a Memphis ordinance is one of the group's top goals for 2009.

The drafted ordinance will protect city employees, anyone using city services, employees of city contractors, and members of boards appointed by the city (e.g., MLGW, the Center City Commission, etc.). Cole says he's currently working with the City Council's personnel and governmental affairs committee and hopes to see the ordinance on a council agenda in the new year.

Will it pass? It's anybody's guess, but new council members seem more open to gay rights issues. Hopefully, they'll give the green light to this long-overdue ordinance. — Bianca Phillips

Second, we have more on the Rick Warren affair from the Commercial Appeal. In an extensive piece, they interview blogger and activist Jim Maynard, Obama campaign volunteer Shauna Wright, and me. Maynard makes all the salient points:

"I think most gay people are upset about it," said Memphis blogger and gay activist Jim Maynard.

After eight years of anti-gay policy under President Bush, Maynard said, many in the gay community hoped Obama would be a beacon for change.

Maynard hasn't given up that hope.

Inviting Warren to give a prayer is not the same as setting policy, he said.

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