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, March 16, 2009

Memphis Non-Discrimination Effort Expands to all of Shelby County

The Shelby County Committee of the Tennessee Equality Project recently learned that the Shelby County Commission plans to consider a comprehensive non-discrimination ordinance (NDO) for Shelby County. In fact, the Shelby County Commission may consider this legislation as early as the first week of April!

The proposed county ordinance would include protections from discrimination in employment by the government and government contractors and in the provision of government services. These protections would prohibit discrimination based on religion, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, creed, political affiliation or other non-merit factors.

We’ve updated the Facebook cause page supporting a non-discrimination ordinance for our community because of these new developments at

The Memphis City Council may also take up similar legislation this spring.

This is an historic moment for Memphis, Shelby County and all of Tennessee, and TEP invites you to be a part of it. TEP believes that majorities on the council and commission will agree to the proposed Non-Discrimination Ordinances, but they need to hear from the community.

When the ordinance appears on the agendas of the council or commission, community presence at those meetings will be critical. TEP would like to recruit you to be a contact liaison for your circle of friends or an organization you belong to. We’re asking volunteers to commit to calling and recruiting others to the cause within their organization or circle of friends and family. The task simply involves sending e-mails and calling people to invite them 1) to attend council or commission meetings and 2) to write or call their council and commission members to ask their support for the NDO.

When TEP learns that the NDO is added to the agenda of the County Commission or City Council, we will contact you with the dates and times of these meetings. The ordinance will have to be read at least three times before the commission and council over a six week period.

The Memphis City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 3:30 PM on the first floor on 125 North Main Street. The Shelby County Commission meets on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 1:30 PM at 160 N. Main Street

We know that many people work when the City Council and County Commission meet. We’re asking that you try to identify as many people as you can within your circle of friends, family or group who can come to these meetings. For those who cannot come, it will be important to call the Council or Commission offices to ask the council to support the ordinances.

If you are willing to serve as a liaison for your group or group of friends, please contact Jonathan Cole at 901.301.3306 or

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