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, July 12, 2010

Memphis City Council to consider LGBT-inclusive workplace protections

Today marks the beginning of Tennessee Equality Project's campaign to bring inclusive workplace protections to the employees of the City of Memphis and City contractors. If you live in Memphis, we ask you to contact the Memphis City Council and urge your representatives to support non-discrimination legislation that includes sexual orientation and gender identity or expression for employees of City government and City contractors.

On July 20, the Personnel, Intergovernmental and Annexation Committee of the Memphis City Council will begin hearings on the legislation.

In 2009, the Shelby County Commission was the first local government in Tennessee to prohibit workplace discrimination based on non-merit factors such as sexual orientation and gender identity. A few months later, Nashville Metro Government enacted its own non-discrimination ordinance. We laid the groundwork by becoming more visible as a community and gained even more allies.

Now IT’S TIME to advance something positive in Memphis!

We know from the experience of working with Shelby County government that we are in for a fight. Our opponents spread the most horrible lies about our community. We will have to out-email, out-call, and out-rally them. That’s why we’re organizing to stay ahead of our opponents.

Right now, there are three ways to help:

First, send an email message

If you live or work in Memphis, send an email message to the Memphis City Council to let them know you support fairness and equality by clicking .

Second, send a handwritten letter to your Council members

In addition to your email message, handwritten personal letters to your elected representatives make an even greater impact in influencing legislation. Here’s how:
  1. Come by the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center at 892 South Cooper Street on July 14, 2010 from 6-9 PM for the official Letter Writing Kickoff.
  2. If you cannot make the kickoff, come by the center during regular business hours (2-9 PM on Monday-Friday) to write letters to your City Council representatives. We’ll have tips to help you write your letter. If you leave your letter at the center, we’ll make sure it is delivered to the City Council office.

  3. Write your City Council members from home using the contact information found at the City of Memphis website.
  4. Volunteer today to host a letter writing party for your friends and family in your home.
Contact TEP at for tips on organizing your own party.

Third, speak in favor of workplace equality to the Memphis City Council

TEP will offer a brief workshop at its regular monthly meeting to help people prepare talking points to give at hearings on the legislation at Memphis City Council meetings. Speaking directly to the council is one of the best ways citizens can advance employment non-discrimination legislation. Join us on Monday, July 26 from 6-7:30 PM at the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center at 892 South Cooper Street to perfect your message.

With your help, we can bring inclusive workplace protections to the City of Memphis. Thanks for all that you do to advance equality in Memphis and Shelby County.

- Jonathan Cole


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