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, June 9, 2011

Can you help overturn the Special Access to Discriminate Act?

The Tennessee General Assembly, Governor Bill Haslam and member companies of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry have taken a lot heat in local and national media in the weeks following passage of the hateful “Special Access to Discriminate” Act.

Can you help repair
the damage caused by
the SAD Act?
Proponents of the SAD Act boast that HB600/SB632 is a “first-in-the-nation” law - not realizing their responsibility in making Tennessee the last place that educated professionals, skilled workers, and entrepreneurs want to live and work. With national attention focused on the intolerance and bigotry codified in the law, it’s hard to see anything worth bragging about.

Tennessee Equality Project fought hard to defeat the Special Access to Discriminate Act (HB600/SB632) in the legislature before it became law in Tennessee, and we will do our part to ensure a successful challenge of the law in the courts.

While TEP will continue to be at front line of the fight for equality in the workplace, you might be just the right person to help overturn the SAD Act and keep similar laws from spreading to other states.

A number of people in Tennessee may be directly affected by the SAD Act, including:
  1. Employees of companies who contract with Metro Nashville Government. These contract employees are no longer protected from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or disability.
  2. Children in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools are no longer protected from discrimination in education based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  3. Children who attend Memphis City Schools are no longer protected from discrimination in education based on sexual orientation.
  4. Individuals living in the City of Memphis who depend on Section 8 vouchers or SSI disability income are no longer protected from housing discrimination based on source of income. Memphians are also no longer protected from housing discrimination based on age.
  5. Has the local government of your city, county, or school board enacted additional protections from discrimination that are not already covered by state law? If so, people who were protected by those local provisions may no longer benefit from those protections.
Do you, your friends, or members of your family fall into any of the above categories?

If you do, you may have standing as a plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the Special Access to Discrimination Act in Tennessee. Tennessee Equality Project encourages you to contact Nashville-area attorney Abby Rubenfeld for more information (parents should call on behalf of their children):

Rubenfeld Law Office
2409 Hillsboro Road, Suite 200
Nashville, Tennessee 37212
615-386-9077 / 615-386-3897 (facsimile)

The Tennessee General Assembly may have adjourned for 2011, but Tennessee Equality Project continues to fight for the equal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families in our state.

- Jonathan Cole 

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