Vanessa Enriquez-Rios

  • NO to Adoption Discrimination in Congress

    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.

    1,047 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.

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  • donated via 2018-06-28 20:48:41 -0500

    Invest in our defenses during urgent times

    $1,705.00 raised
    GOAL: $3,000.00

    We face new challenges every week--from Supreme Court rulings and important vacancies in the courts to discriminatory state legislation.  We can expect new attacks on marriage equality, transgender rights and safety, and job and public accommodations access.  Help us bolster our defenses in Tennessee with your contribution.  Note:  Contributions given through this portal are to Tennessee Equality Project and are not deductible for purposes of federal income tax.

    Donate

  • 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.

    1,069 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.

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  • Governor Haslam, Veto SB1085/HB1111

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    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.

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  • Demand EEOC pursue LGBT job discrimination cases

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    On January 27, Slate reported that the EEOC may withdraw from a case involving job discrimination against Amiee Stephens, a transgender woman.  New Commission chair Victoria Lipnic said "Administration-related changes" were the reason. 

    TAKE ACTION!

    1. Send your own email to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at info@eeoc.gov and urge the Commission to continue pursuing cases of LGBT job discrimination.

    2. Sign the petition.  If we reach or exceed 1000 signatures, we will deliver them to the Nashville EEOC office.

    388 signatures

    Dear Commissioners,

    We urge you to continue viewing job discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people as sex discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  In particular, you must continue to pursue the case of Amiee Stephens and other cases like it. 

    Your own report indicates there were 1768 charges of anti-LGBT job discrimination in 2016.  In many states, there are no explicit protections for LGBT workers.  Without your efforts, LGBT people are often defenseless against job discrimination.  You must continue to pursue these cases.

    Thank you for considering our views.

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  • endorsed via 2016-04-27 13:05:33 -0500

    I asked Governor Haslam to veto HB1840, the counseling discrimination bill

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    Take a minute to contact Governor Bill Haslam by phone message or on Twitter and then let us know you did it using this form.  Let's get to 500 or more!

    I called or Tweeted Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and urged him to veto HB1840, the counseling discrimination bill.  I'm asking you to do the same this week.

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  • Governor Haslam, Keep listening and oppose HB2414

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    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.

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  • endorsed 2016-02-06 13:42:41 -0600

    The People's Resolution Opposing Tennessee House Joint Resolution 529 on Marriage Equality

    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.

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  • donated 2014-12-21 10:57:23 -0600

    Matching our Moment

    $5,255.00 raised
    GOAL: $4,000.00

    Generous anonymous donors have come forward and offered to match all donations to the TEP Foundation between NOW and 11:59 p.m. Central Time on December 31!  That means that your gift is doubled and your impact for advancing equality in Tennessee is doubled. 

    C A N  W E  M A T C H  O U R  M O M E N T ?

    Matching Our Moment...Marriage equality is on its way to Tennessee, but what happens when a lesbian working at a company with no non-discrimination policy puts a picture of her wife on her desk?  We've made progress in our cities, but too often hate violence erupts in the very cities where we've passed non-discrimination ordinances and partner benefits.  And while the adults start to get legal protections, LGBT students in Tennessee are left behind--bullied at schools and in some cases driven out of their homes by parents who refuse to accept them because their minds have taken in hateful messages.

    Our Moment is one of opposition, one of need, and most of all, one of opportunity.  Can we match our moment? 

    Your tax deductible contribution to the TEP Foundation by December 31 helps us do just that.  You can give online or send your dated check in a post-marked envelope to P.O. Box 330895  Nashville, TN 37203.

    Matching Our Opposition:  We face two kinds of opposition in Tennessee.  There is the very well-funded public arm of opposition in the form of far Right lobbying groups that seek to promote a culture of fear and intolerance in congregations, in the media, and in our Legislature.  And then there is more diffused kind of opposition--a sermon that seems to come from out of nowhere, an outrageous remark by a county commissioner, or a store that refuses to serve a transgender person.  The TEP Foundation's programs through diversity training, media engagement, and Equality Means Business help shape Tennessee's culture with the values of equality and inclusion.  When you invest in equality in Tennessee, you give us a fighting chance against the opposition.

    Matching Our Need:  The data on bullying in our schools tells the story.  The Tennessee Department of Education revealed there were over 5400 confirmed cases of bullying in Tennessee schools in 2012.  National data consistently shows Southern states are underfunded by significant percentages.  LGBT people and our allies need victories, however small, and we need hope so that victories can grow.  TEP Foundation programs like SAFE (Schools Are For Everyone) Tennessee assist GSAs, help communities deal with bullying, and help citizens engage their school boards with solutions. 

    Matching Our Opportunity:  Potential allies are all around us.  Meaningful victories are within reach.  How we handle the first days of marriage equality in Tennessee can set the stage for a safer, more inclusive Tennessee for all of us.  When you support TEP Foundation programs like Tennessee Ready for Marriage on DAY ONE and Equality Means Business you give allies concrete ways to show their support and grow the movement.  We are grateful for your support.

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