Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Messages of inclusion in Williamson and Wilson Counties: How I spent my day
As it happens, I was in Williamson and Wilson Counties today. These two counties elected the House and Senate sponsors of SB0632/HB0600 or what we call the Special Access to Discriminate bill. If Sen. Mae Beavers or Rep. Glen Casada had been around today, they would have heard words maybe they aren't used to in their backyards, or maybe they do hear them but ignore them.
The first event was Nashville CABLE's "Power of Inclusion" awards luncheon. TEP received the award in the non-profit category for our work supporting the Metro Council on the 2009 and 2011 Metro non-discrimination ordinances. The event took place at the Cool Springs Marriott. The work of advancing legal protections for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community was completely embraced by this incredible network of professional women and I was glad that these achievements were celebrated in Williamson County.
The second event was the Mt. Juliet funeral for Bob Stovall, the late father of TEP's former president H.G. Stovall. I was honored to give the eulogy. The Stovall family completely embodies inclusion. There are few words I could add to the slice of the the obituary that the family wrote for Bob included below.
I just wonder how long Rep. Casada and Sen. Beavers can seal the borders of Tennessee from the national conversation on equality and their own counties from the voices of the women of CABLE and accepting fathers like Bob.
Stovall, Robert Kenneth, age 74, of Mt. Juliet, TN, died Sunday, May 8, 2011. Mr. Stovall was a member of Donelson Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He was a member of PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays) and the Tennessee Equality Project. Mr. Stovall was the son of the late, Robert L. and Elizabeth Oliver Stovall. He is survived by:
Wife - Gayle Stovall of Mt. Juliet, TN
Sons - H.G. Stovall and his partner, Harry Longfellow of Nashville, TN and Shawn Stovall of Owensboro, KY
Daughter - Elizabeth Ann Smith of Calhoun, KY
Brothers - Teddy A. (Katie) Stovall and
Anthony (Jaynie) Stovall both of Kuttawa, KY
Sister - Mary E. (Jim) Doom of Utica, KY .