Thursday, February 12, 2009

Advancing Equality in Tennessee

Advancing Equality Day is next week, and the Tennessee Equality Project says that it is important for concern citizens to speak to their legislators first-hand about why they care about equality for LGBT people in Tennessee.

There are two bills of particular importance this year. First, as we mentioned before, the legislature is once again considering anti-adoption legislation. SB 78/HB 605 would prohibit adoption by individuals "cohabiting" in a sexual relationship outside of a marriage recognized in Tennessee. This mean-spirited bill is aimed directly at the LGBT community and must be stopped.

On a positive note, the legislature is considering HB 355, which would amend existing hate crimes law to add gender identity or expression as protected categories. The law currently includes sexual orientation. This is vital legislation, especially in light of ongoing violence against transgender people in Tennessee. It also provides a great opportunity to have conversations with legislators about why equality for transgender people is so important.

Speaking with legislators face to face is one of the most powerful tools we have in the fight for equality. We hope you'll be able to join our friends at TEP next week for Advancing Equality Day on the Hill. P

Advancing Equality Day on the Hill
Tuesday, February 17
8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Rymer Gallery
233 Fifth Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37219


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