Dawn Bennett

  • endorsed 2017-12-10 14:47:09 -0600

    Tennessee Open For Business

    openforbiz.pngTennessee Open For Business is a free program for Tennessee businesses that pledge not to discriminate against their employees or customers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. That means that member businesses do not discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender individuals or couples.  Members will get a listing on our website, a post on Facebook, and a window cling suitable for display in their storefront. The program is made possible through generous support of the Brooks Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

    You can see a list of some of the current members of Tennessee Open For Business at this link

    For questions, contact us at chris@tnequalityproject.com.


  • LGBTQ open letter to our fellow Tennesseans

    663 signatures



    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.

    Add signature

  • signed Give Nashville businesses a gender-neutral bathroom option 2016-06-08 16:28:07 -0500
    Please pass this bill!

    Give Nashville businesses a gender-neutral bathroom option

    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.

    Add signature

  • signed VETO Hate Bill 1840, the Counseling Discrimination bill 2016-04-06 13:23:02 -0500
    Gov. Haslam,

    My child’s very life depends on the veto of this bill. Please, Sir. If you don’t have a LGBTQ child, you simply would not understand. Please veto.

    VETO Hate Bill 1840, the Counseling Discrimination bill


    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.

    Add signature

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