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 8, 2009

Accentuate the Positive: Our piece in Out & About Newspaper

From today's Out & About Newspaper on how fighting for positive legislation helps us repel negative attacks:

The lesson is clear. We must give citizens and lawmakers something positive to support. Even though the hate crimes bill was rolled until next year, consider the “wins.” We put the opposition on the defensive. They had to spend a lot of time on the hate crimes bill and they showed their true colors with the most obscene rhetoric and lies you can imagine. Another huge gain is the new allies our community won by asking legislators to be co-sponsors of the bill. TTPC did a great job of winning our community lasting allies in the Legislature who will no doubt help us on future legislation.

The same dynamic is at work in the recent fight for the County non-discrimination resolution. The Tennessee Equality Project and our allies didn’t get the full ordinance that we wanted, but the wins were significant. First, we got a resolution that can be used to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender employees in civil service hearings and chancery court if they are wrongfully terminated based on bias. Second, a multi-racial, multi-faith coalition came together to stand for equality. Federal, state, and local officials endorsed the effort and allies like the NAACP were brought in.

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