Monday, February 2, 2009

Adoption Ban Filed

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) is continuing the monitor the filing of new bills in the 106th Tennessee General Assembly. As expected, a bill to ban adoption rights for unmarried, co-habiting couples has been reintroduced, SB0078. The Senate sponsor is Paul Stanley (R-Germantown)

Senator Paul Stanley

the same sponsor who pushed this discriminatory, moralizing legislation in 2008, which would limit the rights of responsible adults from adopting children. TTPC was one of several groups which mobilized thousands of responsible Tennesseans against this legislation last year and, working with our allies, we will oppose it again this year.

Another area of concern in which we have already seen the first bills of the new General Assembly being filed would require new Voter IDs:
SB0003 by Beavers/HB0009 by Weaver
SB0005 by Ketron/HB0010 by Maggart, Lynn, and Evans
HB0267 by Watson

TTPC has previously opposed any such legislation because of its potential disfranchising impact on trasngender voters and will do so again this year. We also anticipate continuing to oppose any legislation which discriminates against LGBT Tennesseans in Civil Unions, Education, and in any other area where there is an attempt to deny full equality.

We will continue working to repeal Tennessee's one-of-a-kind ban on gender changes on Birth Certificates. We also urge lawmakers to add "gender identity or expression" to Tennessee Code Annotated 40-35-114 (23), making it easier for state and local authorities to track and prosecute hate crimes against all LGBT Tennesseans.

As part of this effort, we strongly urge everyone to join TTPC as we support the Tennessee Equality Project's 5th Annual Advancing Equality Day on the Hill, on Tuesday, February 17. Join LGBT people and supporters from across the state in Nashville as we meet with state legislators and discuss issues of importance to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. More details about the event are below.

If you live in Memphis, Knoxville, Nashville, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga or Tri-Cities areas, contact TEP before scheduling your meetings to avoid setting up multiple meetings with the same representatives.

If you plan on coming to Nashville on Feb. 16, the night before Advancing Equality Day on the Hill, we recommend staying at the Doubletree Hotel at 315 4th Avenue North. We have a special group rate of $99, but you need to reserve your room no later than Feb. 3. Call 1-800-222-8733. Make sure to mention that you are with the Tennessee Equality Project for the rate.

Reception at Tribe the Night Before

To welcome our guests from out of town and to celebrate our unity as we fight these negative bills, we have planned a reception at Tribe located at 1517 Church Street beginning at 7:00 p.m. Central Time. Come gather with friends as we prepare to take the Hill.

Advancing Equality Day on the Hill Schedule

At 8:30 a.m. Central Time, we gather at the Rymer Gallery located at 233 5th Avenue North. Pastries and coffee will be provided to give you some energy to start the day. We will provide you with a legislative briefing. Around 9:30 we will go as a group to Legislative Plaza and the War Memorial Building to meet with our lawmakers. You will need government-issued photo identification to get into Legislative Plaza and the Capitol. The rest of the day is free time, which you may use to attend committee hearings, tour the Capitol, or see the sights in Nashville.

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) is an organization designed to educate and advocate on behalf of transgender related legislation at the Federal, State and local levels. TTPC is dedicated to raising public awareness and building alliances with other organizations concerned with equal rights legislation.

For more information, or to make a donation, contact:

Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC)
P.O. Box 92335
Nashville, TN 37209
(615)353-1834 fax


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