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.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Compelling bullying video going viral, pre-emptive first strike against partner benefits, and Occupying equality in Nashville

Brave student posts video about bullying:  This weekend lots of people in Tennessee were posting this video by a boy named Jonah about the bullying he's facing every day:

Yes, this is happening to children every day around the country and, no, adults aren't doing enough.  Instead of passing the policies that need to be passed, adults are standing in the way because they're somehow afraid they might accidentally teach or validate homosexuality.  In the absence of policy, it's easy for adults to look the other way and dismissively say, "Kids."   These videos show, however, that bullied children refuse to be invisible.  We hope there's an adult at Jonah's school who intervenes and helps make it safe for him to get his education.

Casada launches first strike against partner benefits in labor bill restricting local governments: State Senator Brian Kelsey of Shelby County and State Rep. Glen Casada of Williamson County are targeting Tennessee's local governments again.  The Tennessean's Michael Cass reports on the bill: 

A bill the General Assembly will consider next year would prohibit local governments from imposing requirements on contractors doing business with them for health insurance coverage, minimum wage levels or family leave allowances beyond what state law requires.

But there's more.  The bill would also have the effect of preventing a city in county in Tennessee from requiring government contractors from adding domestic partner benefits:

Chris Sanders of the Tennessee Equality Project, which supported the Metro nondiscrimination ordinance and is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the state, said he’s worried about Republican efforts.
“All the lobbying interests that care about local government need to wake up,” he said. “If we don’t stop this train, local authority is going to be gutted in the next few years.”
Sanders said the legislation could prevent cities from requiring the extension of benefits to domestic partners of contractors’ employees. But he said he hasn’t heard anyone in city government talk about pursuing such an initiative.

Occupying equality this weekend:   Occupy groups from around Tennessee came to Nashville this weekend and are holding a series of events including a teach-in on the history of the movement for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights, according to Nashville's Newschannel 5

-Chris Sanders

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