Newsletter from the Tennessee Transgender Politcal Coalition; April 6, 2012:
We may have said goodbye to March Madness, but the shenanigans in the Tennessee General Assembly have not yet ended.
Family Life Curriculum and Ban on Teaching Diversity
This Tuesday, April 10, the House Education will hold its final meeting. They are expected to vote on HB 3621 by *Gotto, which would place numerous, ridiculous, restrictions on the family life curriculum. Unfortunately, the Senate version, SB3310 by Johnson, passed yesterday. The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition commends Beverly Marrero (D-Memphis) for being the only Senator willing to vote No.
The House bill will be heard this week in both the Education Committees. It is intended as a substitute for the equally odious Ban on Teaching Sexual Diversity (a.k.a., Don’t Say Trans/Don’t Say Gay), HB0229 by *Hensley, Dunn, which is also on the agenda.
We urge you to contact members of the House Education Committee and express your opposition to both HB3621 and HB0229, and then join us in Legislative Plaza, Room 16 on Tuesday, April 10, at 10:30 am, CDT:
Richard Montgomery (R-Sevierville), Chair
Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald), Vice Chair & Bill Co-Sponsor
Joe Carr (R-Lascassas), Secretary & Bill Co-Sponsor
Harry Brooks (R-Knoxville)
Kevin Brooks (R-Cleveland)
John DeBerry (D-Memphis)
Lois DeBerry (D-Memphis)
Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville), Bill Co-Sponsor
Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley)
John Forgety (R-Athens)
Ron Lollar (R-Bartlett)
Debra Maggart (R-Hendersonville)
Jimmy Naifeh (D-Covington)
Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville)
Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro)
John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge), Bill Co-Sponsor
Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville)
John Mark Windle (D-Livingston)
Anti-GSA Bills in Senate Education Committee
On Wednesday, April 11, at 1:00 pm, CDT, the Senate Education Committee will also take up two anti-GSA bill, long fought by TTPC. The first is SB 2488 by Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville), which requires schools to notify parents, by way of student handbooks or policy guidebooks, of school-associated extracurricular activities. TTPC is joined by school administrators in opposing this bill who recognize that this is an unnecessary and bad bill. The House of Representatives passed the companion bill, HB2548 by 74 to 14, but it is not too late to stop this legislation in the Senate.
The second is HB0432 by Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville). This bill, already passed in the House, will require parents to send permission notes to schools before any student can join any club. This is intended to intimidate and harass anyone wishing to join a Gay-Straight Alliance.
The members of the Senate Education Committee are:
Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville), Chair
Reginald Tate (D-Memphis), Vice-Chair
Brian Kelsey (R-Collierville), Secretary
Andy Berke (D-Chattanooga)
Charlotte Burks (D-Monterey)
Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville)
Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City)
Jim Summerville (R-Dickson)
Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville)
If you do not know the name of your State Representative, you can Find Your Legislator by clicking here. Feel free to tell your story and educate them about the reality of the lives of their transgender constituents.
State Senate Supports Workplace Discrimination
On Tuesday, the Senate State and Local Government Committee voted down SB2762 by *Kyle, which repeals the “Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act” (a.k.a., No CANDO). TTPC fought against that original bill which bans local governments from adopting their own non discrimination ordinances as Metro Nashville has done. The vote on Tuesday was 2 to 6.
Tennessee Congressman Supports Non-Discrimination Executive Order
With the current leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives also opposed to ending discrimination in the workplace, an online campaign has begun to urge President Obama to sign an Executive Order ending discrimination in federal contracts.
At the beginning of this week, 72 Members of Congress joined the campaign by sending a letter to President Obama asking him to issue an executive order requiring companies doing business with the U.S. government to have non-discrimination policies inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity.
One of those signatories is Steve Cohen of Memphis.
U.S. Representative Stephen Cohen
The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition thanks Congressman Cohen for his continuing support of fairness in the workplace, and we urge the remaining members of the Tennessee Congressional delegation to join him in this effort.
2012 Candidates for Federal and State Offices
Yesterday was the filing deadline for candidates to qualify for the August 2 primaries and November 6 General Elections for Federal and State offices, and various local offices. We urge everyone to review the lists of candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, Tennessee State Senate, and State House, and actively support those who will stand for equal rights for all.
One race of interest is in Hamilton County for House District 27. There, Representative Richard Floyd , who introduced the Bathroom Harassment Act (SB 2282/HB 2279) earlier this year, and said that he wants to to stomp transgender women, is being challenged in the Republican primary by perennial candidate Basil Marceaux. In 2010, Marceaux received national attention, and an endorsement from Stephen Colbert, because of his unorthodox videos.
We will be watching this race closely.
Happy Passover and Easter
We also wish to say to those of you who will be celebrating Passover or Easter that we hope you have a very good weekend.