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, July 26, 2012

Rep. Jeanne Richardson and out AR Rep. Kathy Webb to headline press conference on equality and choice issues Fri

Rep. Jeanne Richardson
Rep. Kathy Webb
Drawing attention to what is at stake in this year's legislative races in terms of equality and choice issues, Tennessee Rep. Jeanne Richardson, a candidate for the District 90 House seat, and out lesbian Rep. Kathy Webb of Arkansas will hold a press conference on Friday at 5:15 p.m. at the corner of Cooper and Young Streets in Memphis prior to a reception for Richardson. For more information on the event, see the Facebook event page.

Richardson is battling State Rep. John DeBerry for the seat.  The contrast couldn't be clearer when it comes to equality issues.  Richardson was a strong opponent of HB600, which stripped Nashville of its 2011 contractor non-discrimination ordinance and she has been the sponsor of bills that would add gender identity and expression to the state hate crimes statute and allow Tennessee residents to amend the gender designation on their birth certificates.  Her comments from the House floor debate on HB600 follow, as recorded by The City Paper:

Rep. Jeanne Richardson, D-Memphis, called the bill “anti-gay” and castigated Casada and the Republicans as deceitful for pretending it is about jobs.
“Discrimination against gay people about jobs is wrong. I personally strongly feel it’s wrong. … We want to say in our state to the gay community all over this state that it’s OK to discriminate on sexual identity and gender identification. That’s what we’re saying. Let’s all be honest in this room. Everybody sitting in here knows that’s what this is about. You know, representative,” Richardson told Casada.
“I think there’s nothing homogeneous about this bill. But I think there’s a lot that’s homophobic about this bill.”

Rep. John DeBerry, on the other hand, spoke out for the Don't Say Gay bill in the House Education Subcommittee this year before casting his vote for the bill, which ultimately failed to advance beyond the full House Education Committee.   His comments on the bill can be found here:

 .  Election Day is August 2. 

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