Friday, May 15, 2009

Tennessee Hate Crimes Bill Rolled

Tennessee Hate Crimes Bill Rolled to 2010

On Wednesday, State Representative by Jeanne Richardson (D-Memphis) decided to roll HB0335 in the Tennessee House Judiciary Committee until January 2010. This bill would add "gender identity or expression" to Tennessee's hate crimes sentencing enhancement statute. The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition supports this decision. Opposition to the bill emerged claiming, falsely, that it would criminalize religious speech, even though there has never been a single case of a minister sentenced under current statute for promoting hatred, and that it would cover pedophiles, even though nobody has ever made a logical argument that "gender identity or expression" has anything to do with pedophilia.

We ask all of you to continue meeting with members of both the Tennessee House of Representatives and Tennessee State Senate to educate them about the necessity of expandng Tennessee code to protect victim's rights and protect public safety by extending sentences for those convicted of assault on a transgender, gender variant, or gender non-conformist person.

If you do not know the names of your state legislators, go to

We would also like to thank all of the groups that stepped up to help educate legislators about this bill: American Civil Liberties Union, NAACP of Nashville, National Organization for Women, Obama for Tennessee Volunteers, and Tennessee Equality Project. We anticipate working with these and other allies in the coming months to get this bill passed in 2010.

Voter ID:

We are pleased to announce that Rep. Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) decided not to pursue his motion to recall two Voter ID bills, HB 0639 by *Maggart and HB 1838 by *Todd, to the House State and Local Government committee, that had failed to pass out of the Elections Subcommittee. TTPC was opposed to both bills because they could disfranchise transgender voters in Tennessee. Rep. McCormick announced his intention to pursue his efforts in 2010. TTPC and other groups that are opposed to this legislation will continue to fight to prevent the disfranchisement of a single voters in Tennessee.


The Tennessee House of Representatives passed *HJR 0285 by *Dean, which opposes Tennessee's compliance with the Federal REAL ID Act of 2005, by a vote of 91 to 0. The bill is now before the Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Committee. That same committee passed a similar bill, *SB 1934 by *Burchett by a vote of 9 to 0. That bill now moves to the floor of the full Senate. The House companion bill to SB1934, HB 1426 by *Niceley. has been deferred to 2010. TTPC Supports these bills and urges Congress to repeal the REAL ID Act of 2005.

Federal Legislation:

On the Federal level, the United States Senate is expected to vote soon on S.909, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The House of Representatives has already passed this legislation, which is supported by President Obama, by a vote of 249 to 175.

Please contact both of Tennessee's Senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and tell them you want to them to support S.909.

We also urge everyone to continue talking to Representatives and Senators about the importance of the fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act. We anticipate that ENDA will be introduced in the coming weeks. It is time to end job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

TTPC also supports the following Congressional bills:

S.424; H.R.1024: Uniting American Families Act
H.R.1283: Military Readiness Enhancement Act (repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell)
H.Res.433: Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

Marisa Richmond

And look for these upcoming events:

June 19 to 21
Memphis Black Pride

Saturday, June 20
Mid South Pride, Memphis

Saturday, June 20
Nashville PRIDE Festival
Riverfront Park

Saturday, June 27
Knoxville Pride
Market Square
for information, contact

Saturday, July 18, 7 pm
TTPC Summer Statewide Membership Meeting

Saturday, October 17
Annual TTPC Fundraising Dinner
Details to be announced soon

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
P.O. Box 92335
Nashville, TN 37209
(615)353-1834 fax


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