A foster care and adoption license to discriminate measure was recently put into a health and human services funding bill in the House Appropriations Committee.
The “Aderholt Amendment” allows foster care and adoption service providers across the country to discriminate against children and prospective parents based on sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and marital status.
We need your help to tell Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker: NO ADOPTION DISCRIMINATION in the 2019 Appropriations bill! We will deliver hard copies to their offices.1,046 signatures
Dear Senators Alexander and Corker:
We urge you to act to oppose the Aderholt amendment allowing discrimination in foster care and adoption services in the FY19 House Labor-HHS appropriations bill and ensure that the measure is NOT included in any Senate or final appropriations bill.
It would allow taxpayer-funded foster care and adoption service providers to discriminate against children in care and against prospective parents, based on sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and marital status.
The measure breaks the cardinal rule of child welfare services: to act in the best interest of the child. This amendment would actually HARM CHILDREN.
This amendment would greatly harm the 440,000 children in foster care, particularly the 117,000 who are waiting to be adopted into loving, forever homes. There is a crisis in foster care due to the huge shortage of available families for children. Each year, over half the children waiting to be adopted do not find a loving home, and most devastatingly, over 17,000 foster youth age out of care without a forever family. Those youth are at greater risk of involvement with the criminal justice system, homelessness, unemployment, and being trafficked.
Speak out against this poison pill amendment,; let your leadership know you will not support a funding bill with the measure included, and vote against any appropriations measure that includes such discriminatory provisions. Thank you for considering our views.
Roger Schecter signed Urge Senators Alexander and Corker to speak up for LGBTQ people when the next Supreme Court justice is appointed 2018-06-28 19:25:03 -0500
Urge Senators Alexander and Corker to speak up for LGBTQ people when the next Supreme Court justice is appointed
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring so the President will name a successor who must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Sign to urge Senator Alexander and Senator Corker to speak up for the LGBTQ community during the confirmation process. TEP will deliver a hard copy of the signatures to their offices.1,067 signatures
Senator Alexander and Senator Corker:
When the President announces his choice to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, we urge you to speak up for the rights of LGBTQ people. It is vitally important that members of the Supreme Court support the principle of "equal protection" and that Justice Kennedy's successor uphold the existing rights of LGBTQ people and oppose discrimination against LGBTQ people. We respectfully ask you to raise these concerns publicly and not to vote for any nominee who supports discrimination.
Roger Schecter signed Tell iStock/Getty to remove violent, anti-LGBTQ images 2017-09-21 13:33:03 -0500
Nashville resident Jennifer Sheridan discovered some disturbing images among iStock/Getty's photographs that were tagged with anti-LGBTQ messages. Out & About Nashville reports that one of them represented the lynching of LGBTQ people.
TAKE ACTION: Go to this link and tell iStock/Getty to remove anti-LGBTQ images and tags from their collection. AND add your name to the petition below. Please, share with your friends.20 signatures
We call on iStock/Getty to remove anti-LGBTQ images and anti-LGBTQ tags from images in their collection. At a time when hate crimes against LGBTQ people are rising in Tennessee and other states, companies have a responsibility to take steps to promote respect. It is outrageous that a major collection of images used by the public would contain pictures and tags that demean and attack the LGBTQ community.
Roger Schecter commented on Condolences to Mayor Megan Barry and her Family 2017-08-03 13:26:38 -0500We are overwhelmed and saddened by your loss.
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and her husband Bruce recently lost their son Max. Members of the LGBT community and allies can leave their condolences here and we will deliver them to the Mayor. Please include your city in your comments. Thank you for showing your love for Mayor Barry and her family.Send feedback
Roger Schecter commented on YOUR Districts 2017-06-05 12:34:55 -0500Speaker Harwell
Tell us your state senate and state house districts. Note: We are NOT asking for your U.S. Senate and U.S. House districts (the elected officials who meeting in Washington, D.C. ). We are asking about your elected officials you meet in Nashville--your state senator and your state representative. You can find them at this link by entering your street address.
So tell us your state senator and your state representative as well as your email address. Thank you!Send feedback
Add your name and urge Governor Haslam to veto SB1085/HB1111, the Sneaky LGBT Erasure Bill. After you sign the petition, share it with your friends. We will deliver a hard copy of the signatures to the Governor's Office. Your voice can help determine whether he uses the VETO pen or the BECOMES LAW pen!5,718 signatures
Dear Governor Haslam,
We ask you to veto SB1085/HB1111. This bill, as the Attorney General has noted, is broadly written. Its vagueness could result in conflicts with existing laws about judicial interpretation. These conflicts are likely to cause discrimination against LGBTQ people, particularly with respect to marriage, adoption, and legal documents. This bill risks subjecting Tennessee to the same scrutiny that North Carolina has received. We cannot afford hundreds of millions of dollars in economic boycotts and sanctions. Please, veto this bill so we can avoid judicial chaos and costly discrimination. Thank you for considering our views.
Roger Schecter posted about Push to the deadline on Facebook 2016-12-31 01:13:24 -0600Join me in making a tax deductible investment in the TEP Foundation.$655.19 raisedGOAL: $2,017.00
Help us end the year strong with your tax deductible investment in the work of the TEP Foundation. Your support grows programs like legislative tracking, Tennessee Open For Business, and Tennessee Equality Voice that shapes a media message for equality in our state. Now more than ever we need to speak out!
Roger Schecter wants to volunteer 2016-12-22 01:02:50 -0600
TEP needs volunteers throughout the year. Please, fill out this form or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Thank you!Become a volunteer
An open letter from Tennessee's LGBTQ community to our fellow Tennesseans
As members of the LGBTQ community, we write to our fellow Tennesseans a month after the election and a month before the upcoming state legislative session.
In recent weeks members of our community have experienced grave assaults on our safety and dignity. A gay, gender nonconforming man was murdered. A transgender woman’s car was burned. The signs and doors of a church that affirms our community have been vandalized. A gay couple received a package with a knife sticking out and a message attached urging them to leave the state.
These attacks upon individuals and institutions have put our lives and safety at even greater risk than usual. They contravene the welcoming traditions of hospitality for which Tennessee is known.
The time we have entered is critical. Many are calling for healing in the wake of a divisive election. Healing is difficult while fresh wounds are being inflicted such as discriminatory state legislation.
So we are speaking out for our safety, dignity, and equal rights under the law.
Our struggle is not against your values, unless you value discrimination. LGBTQ Tennesseans are your neighbors, your family members, your health care providers, firefighters, grocery clerks, teachers, elected officials, and we fill many other roles vital to the life of small towns and large cities. Many of us grew up and continue to be active in the same faith communities as you.
In the long story of our community’s struggles, we have relied on our own strength to sustain us. We have also experienced the joy of working with countless allies. Now is a time for allies to speak out with us and we invite people of good will throughout the state to build a stronger, inclusive, welcoming Tennessee to meet our state’s common challenges together.
If you share these values and priorities, we invite you to add your name to this letter.
Roger Schecter signed Give Nashville businesses a gender-neutral bathroom option 2016-06-04 22:50:43 -0500
In April the owners of the Wild Cow and Graze restaurants added gender-neutral signs to their single occupancy restrooms, but they were later told that this move meant they were no longer in compliance with the Metro code. They made the move to serve their customers and employees and to protest the Legislature's bathroom bill that was pending at the time. You can read about the background here.
Metro Nashville Councilman Brett Withers has filed a bill allowing businesses the option of gender-neutral bathrooms. You can read the bill at this link. The bill is up for second of three readings on June 7 at the 6:30 Metro Council meeting in the Metro Courthouse.
Sign the petition to show your support.150 signatures
We ask that the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County adopt BL2016-238 by Councilman Brett Withers and give Nashville businesses a gender-neutral bathroom option. This bill comes at the request of a local business and it is the right legislation for customers and employees. Thank you for considering our views.
Roger Schecter signed No special legislative session for bathroom discrimination! via 2016-05-21 21:43:48 -0500
On the evening of May 17, The Tennessean and The Commercial Appeal reported that legislators are considering a special legislative session to take up a new effort to pass a statewide anti-transgender bathroom discrimination law. Sign YOUR name to the statement below and we'll deliver your signatures to legislative leaders:1,074 signatures
Dear Speaker Ramsey and Speaker Harwell:
We oppose a special legislative session to consider an anti-transgender bathroom discrimination law. It is never justified to spend the state's time and money to advance discrimination. Thank you for considering our views.
In late April the U.S. House Armed Services Committee voted to undo President Obama's non-discrimination executive orders for federal contracts via the Russell amendment. This amendment is part of the National Defense Authorization Act.
Removal of the President's executive orders on non-discrimination would be a disaster for LGBT people in states like Tennessee that lack employment protections covering sexual orientation and gender identity.
Please, sign this petition to Tennessee's two U.S. Senators and nine members of the U.S. House of Representatives and we will make sure copies are sent to their offices.554 signatures
Dear Senators Alexander and Corker and Representatives Roe, Duncan, Fleischmann, Desjarlais, Cooper, Black, Blackburn, Fincher, and Cohen:
We oppose the Russell amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act and similar efforts to reverse President Obama's executive orders on employment non-discrimination for federal contractors. Protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is important to Tennesseans. Thank you for considering our views.
Target's trans-inclusive policies are under attack in Tennessee. A Mt Juliet pastor's rant went viral and this week at a Hendersonville Target, protesters shouted religious wrath at employees and customers. But we know that Tennessee loves Target and it's time to show it!
As former TEP Board member Ellyahnna Hall (pictured) notes:
"I support Target for trying to provide a safe space for all people. I'm a trans woman and I've faced the dangers of not having access to restrooms that corespond to my gender identity. If opponents are really concerned with safety then let's focus on tougher rape laws and enforcing those, not creating a fake danger that doesn't exist."
Sign the petition statement and show Target some love. We'll deliver hard copies of the petition to select Target locations in Tennessee.
Tennessee loves Target. I support the company's transgender-inclusive policies and I will continue to shop at their stores.
Roger Schecter signed Defend Diversity at UT-Knoxville: Veto SB1912 2016-04-23 15:01:05 -0500Diversity is the business of education. Without diversity, there is no real learning
The Legislature passed SB1912/HB2248 that removes funding from the Office for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Sign this petition that we will deliver to Governor Haslam asking him to veto the bill.2,096 signatures
Governor Haslam, we call on you to veto SB1912/HB2248 and protect the University of Tennessee-Knoxville's Office for Diversity and Inclusion. The office plays a vital role in making the university competitive for the best students, faculty, and staff and it makes campus life welcoming for all. Thank you for considering our views.
Sign this NEW petition urging Governor Bill Haslam to keep listening to the voices opposed to the anti-transgender student bathroom bill!1,533 signatures
Governor Haslam, please continue to oppose HB2414 and listen to the voices of transgender students and the business community speaking out against the bill. Thank you for considering our views.
Roger Schecter signed VETO Hate Bill 1840, the Counseling Discrimination bill 2016-04-10 19:00:35 -0500
Please, add your voice and urge Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to veto this discriminatory bill.4,239 signatures
Dear Governor Haslam,
We urge you to veto HB1840, which allows counselors to turn away clients based on the counselor's biases and values. This bill puts the focus on the desires of counselors rather than on the needs of clients, damaging the counseling profession and putting clients at risk.
An anti-bullying amendment was stripped from the bill in the House Health Committee leaving youth vulnerable in areas where mental health services are not widely available.
Thank you for considering our views.
Roger Schecter posted about Governor Haslam, Fight for trans students and against SB2387/HB2414 on Facebook 2016-03-21 22:37:11 -0500Sign the petition: Governor Haslam, Fight for trans students and against SB2387/HB2414
Please, join us in encouraging Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to fight against this attack on transgender students.985 signatures
Dear Governor Haslam,
We call on you to do everything in your power to lobby against passage of SB2387/HB2414, the anti-transgender student bathroom bill. We also ask that you VETO the bill if it reaches your desk.
The bill endangers vulnerable students and it risks significant U.S. Department of Education funds to Tennessee. If this bill became law, the enforcement would be a nightmare for school districts across the state.
Show the world that Tennessee is a welcoming state. Thank you for considering our views.
Roger Schecter endorsed 2016-02-06 20:42:02 -0600
Sign on as a co-sponsor of the People's Resolution Opposing Tennessee House Joint Resolution 529 on Marriage Equality.
WHEREAS, Rep. Susan Lynn has introduced a resolution urging the members of the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee to express their disagreement with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges; and
WHEREAS, the Tennessee Constitution affirms "That the citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together, for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances or other proper purposes, by address or remonstrance;" and
WHEREAS, the State of Tennessee ought to be focused on the legal equality of all its people rather than attacking the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community; and
WHEREAS, "the equal protection of the laws" is a cherished principle in American jurisprudence; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, that we oppose House Joint Resolution 529 and urge the members of the 109th General Assembly of the State of Tennessee to uphold the entire Constitution of the United States, including the Fourteenth Amendment, and cease their legislative attacks on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.Endorse
As a supporter of Tennessee Equality Project, your contribution funds the advancement of policies through direct and grass roots lobbying which protect the rights of LGBT people and their families here at home in Tennessee. Give monthly, choose to give a one-time donation within one of these giving circles described below or become a basic member. Contributions to TEP (a 501(c)(4) organization) are not tax deductible.
If you would prefer to make a tax-deductible contribution to Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, click here.
Click here to see who is supporting the work of equality in Tennessee.
Circle Amount Benefits
$1200/year Free admission to TEP events statewide; 4 Olympus tickets; Invitation to Executive Director’s Legislative Briefing Reception and access to VIP Lounge at Advancing Equality Day on the Hill; TEP T-Shirt; TEP Car Window Decal; TEP Newsletter. Giving Circle members and members of their household may vote for Board Members at Annual Meetings.
3 Olympus tickets; Invitation to Executive Director’s Legislative Briefing Reception and access to VIP Lounge at Advancing Equality Day on the Hill. TEP T-Shirt; TEP Car Window Decal; TEP Newsletter. Giving Circle members and members of their household may vote for Board Members at Annual Meetings. Giving Circle members and members of their household may vote for Board Members at Annual Meetings.
$600/year 2 Olympus tickets; Invitation to Executive Director’s Legislative Briefing Reception and access to VIP Lounge at Advancing Equality Day on the Hill; TEP T-Shirt; TEP Car Window Decal; TEP Newsletter. Giving Circle members and members of their household may vote for Board Members at Annual Meetings.
1 Olympus tickets; TEP T-Shirt; TEP Car Window Decal; TEP Newsletter. Giving Circle members and members of their household may vote for Board Members at Annual Meetings.
TEP T-Shirt; TEP Car Window Decal; TEP Newsletter. Giving Circle members and members of their household may vote for Board Members at Annual Meetings.
TEP Car Window Decal; TEP Newsletter. Giving Circle members and members of their household may vote for Board Members at Annual Meetings.
Basic membership allows you to vote for Board Members at Annual Meetings. TEP Newsletter.
Same a individual membership for all members of your household. TEP Newsletter.
Low Income Membership$10/year
Same as individual membership for students, seniors (age 65+), disability income beneficiaries and active duty military and veterans. TEP Newsletter.
Other Giving Options
Some supporters prefer to write a check or make monthly donations to Tennessee Equality Project through automatic bank drafts. Consider creating “Tennessee Equality Project” as a regular payee with your bank’s online service.
Checks and automated bank drafts may be mailed to the following address:
Tennessee Equality Project | P.O. Box 330895 | Nashville, TN 37203
Thank you for supporting Tennessee Equality Project.Donate
Many Tennessee cities will have elections in 2015. Tennessee's three largest--Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville--are among them. Will you pledge to remind your friends to vote in these important elections in 2015? We're starting early because we want to get OUT the equality vote. Your organization--even if it is a 501c3 or congregation--can also help. 501c3 organizations and congregations are allowed to tell their members when an election is and what is on the ballot. Those activities in NO WAY endanger their tax exempt status with the IRS. So we are asking you or your organization to pledge to get word out about these elections as they approach. Those individuals and organizations signing up will get information about getting OUT the vote as the elections approach.
Note: The word "endorse" on this page means you are endorsing the plan to get word out about elections. The plan does not involve endorsing candidates.
We will add more city election information as it becomes available, but so far we know these dates:
City of Jackson
Early Voting--April 15-30
Election Day--May 5
City of Knoxville
Early Voting Begins--September 9
Primary Election Day--September 29
Regular Election Early Voting Begins--October 14
Regular Election Day--November 3
City of Memphis
Early Voting Begins--September 18
Election Day--October 8
Runoff Early Voting Begins--October 14
Runoff Election Day--November 3
Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County
Election Day--August 6
Learn more about why the diversity vote is so important in these upcoming elections by taking a look at this video from "12th & Broad" featuring comments from TEP.Endorse