2016 was one of the toughest years for the LGBTQ community in Tennessee. And we predicted it would be.
Marriage resolutions: The year began with a continuation of the battles of 2015. From October 2015 through March 2016 battles raged across the state in county commission meetings over anti-marriage equality resolutions. You can see the map at this link.
State legislation: What intensified the level of hostility was the Legislature's reaction to the Supreme Court's 2015 marriage ruling and growing bathroom controversies. The result? A record number of anti-LGBTQ bills filed. You can see a list here. Most of them didn't pass, of course. But a few did.
There were also hate incidents just before and after the Election, as we note in the LGBTQ Open Letter.
It has been a horrible year. And yet our community endures and achieves victories.
Generally speaking, we were able to win against anti-marriage equality resolutions around the state where we could draw larger numbers than our opposition--Blount, Knox, Washington, and Rutherford Counties, for example.
And when you think about it, showing up in large numbers is one of the few factors we can really control. We decide whether to show up individually and we decide whether to invite friends and family into the struggle.
2017 promises to be another tough year and now we will no longer have any certain hope of help from the federal government.
Will YOU show up? Will you help us bring in more people to fight discrimination and advance equality? Here's a calendar of events for the coming 3 months. And here's a quick way for you to invest in our organizing work around the state. Give $20.17 for a better 2017.
We remain grateful for all you do!