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, October 1, 2009

Anger Nostalgia

Mike Byrd longs for the days when so-called progressives got their panties or boxers in a wad over the TN Eagle Forum. I'll admit that I still do sometimes. But I can honestly say it feels better to move a bill than be angry. Of course, this whole kerfuffle is premised on a column by an anonymous persona named Rex. I just can't be moved to respond to a tissue of hints. But since I know Mike and since he put the issues out there, I do feel some obligation to give an account.

Back when all we could do was be angry, I suppose our movement was purer. When no elected officials would take our calls or our endorsements, we weren't entangled in the evils and contradictions of power. And we also had no legal protections. My nostalgia for anger in the GLBT community does not translate into nostalgia for the days when we had few possibilities for advancing legislation.

Now that we are somewhat entangled in the ambiguities of lobbying and elections, I can't imagine why it would be a surprise that we might actually support two people who are in sync on our issues but at odds with each other on a variety of issues. Supporting and getting the support of people who are otherwise opposed is how policy moves ahead. And that is the job set before us when we don't have many legal protections.

As for the significance of the non-discrimination ordinance, I don't understand the argument that it does no good if there are lay-offs in Metro. The non-discrimination ordinance affects all the positions in Metro--whether the payroll grows or declines. We evaluated this policy option for a good two years before it was introduced and we're convinced it's a good bill. But thanks for the rain on our gay parade. Smirk.

On a personal note, Emily Evans is my Council Member. I was excited when TEP PAC endorsed her in 2007 and I am grateful for her support on the Metro NDO as well as her quick responses on other issues I've contacted her about over the last couple of years. She will certainly have my support in her re-election bid for what it's worth. And I know some people would say, "Not much." And that's just fine with me.

Mike, we should have a drink somewhere in the 23rd District soon.
-Chris Sanders

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