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, March 25, 2010

Stand for ALL Families in Shelby County

In collaboration with the Raise Your Voice Committee of the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, TEP invites you to participate in a rally to Stand for ALL Families at Neshoba Unitarian Universalist Church (7350 Raleigh-Lagrange Rd. in Cordova) on Monday, March 29. The rally will begin with a light supper at 6 PM followed by a diverse group of speakers at 7 PM celebrating loving families that include all people whether they are gay, lesbian, bi, straight, or transgender.

The occasion will directly confront a decidedly anti-family message given just a few miles from Neshoba on the same night. Bellevue Baptist Church is hosting Tony Perkins, a nationally known anti-gay activist, to commemorate the opening of Family Action Council of Tennessee's office in Cordova. The event is called “Stand for the Family: a rally to celebrate and promote traditional families.” Supporters of this event would like you to believe that “traditional” families are under attack. The reality is that “FACT” and their supporters are spreading an anti-family message of irrational fear and misinformation.

So, who is the Family Action Council of Tennessee and why are they coming to Shelby County?

FACT is a statewide organization that lobbies against fairness and equality that is struggling to establish a foothold in our back yard. FACT actively seeks to prevent loving families from adopting children (particularly gay, lesbian and other unmarried parents), opposes stable relationships and marriages for gay and lesbian couples, promotes LGBT discrimination in the workplace and seeks to dehumanize the lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender citizens of Tennessee.

Last year, a broad and diverse community of people gathered in support of local legislation that secured LGBT-inclusive workplace protections for Shelby County employees. The passage of the legislation sent a message statewide that Shelby County is an inclusive community that welcomes all people regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity and all people should be able to make a living and support their families without the fear of unfair discrimination in the workplace. Our local efforts caught some by surprise including the Family Action Council of Tennessee.

By inviting nationally-known anti-gay activists from outside Tennessee to Monday's event at Bellevue, FACT and their supporters plan to send an exclusive message to elected officials that only certain families that meet their narrow definition should be supported and protected. It's time to raise your voice and rally to celebrate every loving family in Shelby County.

Our message is one of inclusion: ALL parents and families want the same chance as everyone else to earn a living, be safe in their communities, serve their country, and take care of the ones they love.

Join us on Monday night and stand up for ALL families.