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, December 1, 2011

Sign the Tennessee Human Rights Petition

Sign the Tennessee Human Rights Petition
today at
Earlier this year, the proponents of the "Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act" (HB600/SB632) claimed that local governments should not be enacting workplace protections or other employment provisions that affect private employers. They complained that a patchwork of non-discrimination ordinances would create regulatory burdens for private companies doing business in communities across the state. Proponents of HB600/SB632 were successful in enacting the law which repealed Nashville's Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance (CANDO) and prohibits all local governments in Tennessee from extending LGBT-inclusive workplace protections to employees of private businesses.

Tennessee Equality Project actively lobbied against what we more appropriately called HB600/SB632: the "Special Access to Discriminate Act." We continue to challenge the SAD Act on constitutional grounds along with many allies as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the State of Tennessee. Today, we challenge our supporters and allies to commit one step further.

We disagreed with supporters of the SAD Act on the burden it would create for business. So does big business. The majority of Fortune 500 companies lead the way in providing LGBT-inclusive workplace protections because they've realized that inclusive work environments promote creativity in the workplace, employee retention, and recruitment of the best job candidates.

While the supporters of the SAD Act didn't see it that way, they exposed a great need in our State. Tennessee DOES need a uniform standard for protecting people from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In fact, such discrimination ought to be prohibited by law in employment, housing, education, financing and public accommodations in the State of Tennessee.

The Board of Tennessee Equality Project recently approved the following statement expressing this firm belief for our beloved state. In anticipation of
Human Rights Day on December 10, 2011, we invite individuals and organizations across the state to review and sign our petition in support of equal rights for all Tennesseans: 
Equal access, equal opportunity, and equal protection are basic principles of American democracy reaffirmed again and again in our Constitution and laws. Discrimination against persons and groups based on factors irrelevant to merit runs counter to these traditions, hinders individual achievement, and produces social conflict.  
We support the principle of equal protection and oppose discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as well as any discrimination based on the current classes protected in federal and state law.

We call on the State of Tennessee to protect individuals and groups from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, education, financing and public accommodations.

We support the prerogative of local governments in Tennessee to adopt laws and policies that exceed the state in protecting individuals and groups from discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  
We can only move forward together in Tennessee. Discrimination is an obstacle on the path to individual prosperity and economic growth that benefits us all.  
According to our rights under the Tennessee Constitution, we “apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances,” and we call on all Tennesseans who value basic fairness and equal protection to join us.
Click HERE to sign the petition in support of the above statement.

Then invite your friends, family, minister, church, employer, union, local chamber of commerce, community organization, neighborhood association or other group to make their support official. Refer them to this easy-to-remember link to the statement at

Many thanks to Chris Sanders, TEP Nashville Committee Chair, for authoring this statement of belief.

Use this QR Code to post in areas frequented by equality advocates:

No comments: