Saturday, July 11, 2009

Non-Discrimination in Metro Nashville

Federal Hate Crimes and Non-Discrimination in Metro Nashville

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) has been informed that a vote on S.909, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, could take place as early as Wednesday. The House of Representatives has already passed this legislation by a vote of 249 to 175, and the President has pledged to sign it.

Please contact both of Tennessee's Senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker before Wednesday and tell them you want to them to support S.909. With the recent rash of hate crimes across the nation, and with new statistics from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs showing a sharp increase in hate crimes against LGBT people across the nation, and similar statistics from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation showing a sharp increase in hate crimes as well in Tennessee, there must be federal legislation to protect all LGBT people when local authorities refuse to act.

The bill has been endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Interfaith Alliance, National Disability Rights Coalition, which includes the Disability Law and Advocacy Center of Tennessee, American Psychological Association, and virtually every major law enforcement organization in the country, including the Major Cities Chiefs Association, which includes the City of Memphis and Metro Nashville, International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National District Attorneys Association, the National Sheriffs Association, the Police Executive Research Forum, and thirty-one state Attorneys General.

Metro Nashville Non-Discrimination Policy

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) joins the Tennessee Equality Project in announcing the upcoming introduction of a fully inclusive, non-discrimination policy, for employees of the Government of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County (see attached). This will protect all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees from workplace discrimination in Metro Government. This ordinance, will be filed on Tuesday, by Councilmember At Large Megan Barry.

Councilwoman Barry was the Keynote Speaker at the 2008 TTPC Dinner in Nashville. We greatly appreciate her support in proposing this fully inclusive ordinance.

The First Reading before the Metro Council is scheduled for Tuesday, July 21. If you are a resident of Davidson County, please contact all five At Large Councilmembers, as well as your District councilmember, As Soon As Possible and ask them to support the ordinance.

You can find the contact information of Council members by clicking here. You can also use this special Feedback page to send an-email.

If you do not know the name of your District Councilmember, then click here to Find Where You Vote and the District in which you live.

Last month, the Shelby County Commission banned discrimination against LGBT employees and we look forward to Metro Nashville doing the same. It is time to end job discrimination in Metro Government based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. If LGBT people can find, and hold, decent paying jobs, then we are less likely to end up on the streets where we become vulnerable to hate crimes.

And please make plans to join us at the Metro Courthouse on Tuesday, July 21, for the First Reading, and every other Tuesday until discrimination against LGBT people is finally banned in Metro Government.

Marisa Richmond


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