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, November 11, 2010

TEP joins others in confronting Rep. Curry Todd's intolerance

Rep. Curry Todd
At a Fiscal Review Committee hearing about the Cover Kids program on Tuesday of this week, State House Representative Curry Todd compared children born to immigrants in this country to the multiplication of rats. When told in committee that Cover Kids provided prenatal care to unborn children who would be born as U.S. citizens, Todd said immigrants can "go out there like rats and multiply."

When confronted about his statement, Todd "apologized" saying that he should have used the phrase "anchor babies" for newborns of immigrant parents.

NAACP Executive Director Madeleine C. Taylor
speaking at today's press conference

Earlier this evening representatives from Latino Memphis, the NAACP, Workers Interfaith Network, the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, Tennessee Equality Project and other organizations gathered on the street outside Rep. Todd's Collierville home to take a stand against his unrepentant intolerance and bigotry.

On behalf of TEP, I read the following statement in solidarity with those confronting Todd's behavior:

Tennessee Equality Project joins today's chorus of voices condemning the insensitive and thoughtless remarks of State House Rep. Curry Todd of Shelby County. Such remarks are deeply troubling and offensive coming from an elected official in a public hearing. Rep. Todd's words dehumanize immigrant children born in this country and send a message of intolerance and bigotry. Such messages targeting a minority in our community poorly serve the constituents of House District 95 and the people of Tennessee. Such behavior damages the reputation of our great state. People want to live and work in inclusive communities that welcome diversity.  Communities that welcome all people regardless of their country of origin, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender foster cultural vibrancy and economic innovation. We call on Rep. Todd to issue a real apology and to embrace the diversity of our community and state as a social and economic good.
- Jonathan Cole, TEP Board Chair

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