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.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Don't tell the Chamber or TEP," says Family Action PLUS the protest of a Morristown transgender woman

Worst kept secretThe Tennessean delves into the Family Action Council's correspondence with state lawmakers uncovered in the court challenge to HB600, which overturned Metro Nashville Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance.  They thought no one knew what they were up to:

Fowler wrote the group again on Jan. 29 after meeting with chamber officials.
“I felt it was pretty clear that they did not like the ordinance but didn’t want to come across as homophobes or send the country a signal that Nashville was not a great city for all people — was inclusive,” Fowler wrote. “In my opinion the Chamber is clearly trying to document ‘good reasons’ to oppose the bill that anyone with any common sense, regardless of where they stand on the ethic of homosexual conduct, could see are valid concerns.”
Again, Fowler concluded the email by asking recipients not to share it.
“We sure don’t need any loose lips getting word to the Chamber about what I think and for sure not (the Tennessee Equality Project)!” he wrote.

Let's bracket their interpretation of the Chamber's views for now.  The issue is that Family Action officials thought they were fooling people, even TEP, which is odd since everyone knew they were lobbying against the Metro ordinance when it was working its way through the Council.  The intent was clear from the beginning--to keep local governments from protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender employees in their jurisdictions throughout Tennessee.  Although it was no secret, it's clear that Family Action thought discrimination should remain a secret.  SAD!

Transgender woman protests double standard:   WATE is reporting that Andrea Jones, a transgender woman from Morristown, protested the refusal of the DMV to change the sex designation on her licesnse, by taking off her blouse for which she was arrested.

Of course, this puts officials in an odd position.  It's not considered indecent exposure for a male to go shirtless, but in arresting Andrea, they are treating her as a woman...until she tried to get the gender marker changed on her license when she was considered male.  I don't see how they can have it both ways, which is exactly the point of Andrea's protest. 

Secrets and doubles standards are the tools of discrimination in Tennessee!

-Chris Sanders

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