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Civil Rights

Statement on the “Slate of Hate” introduced in the TN state legislature

This statement is issued in response to the recent shameful legislation, which is as follows:

HB 1369, Or the Natural Marriage Defense Act, would criminalize the legal recognition of love between gay and lesbian couples, though such a union neither picks our pocket nor breaks our backs as the politicians who oppose it do so often and gladly.

HB 1152/SB 0848/HB 0836/SB 1304, would deny family stability and nurturing to deserving children in the state of Tennessee by giving unwarranted religious license to the hate and prejudice of individuals in adoption agencies.

HB 0563/ SB 0364, would give legal protection to businesses which refuse to serve all Tennesseans and deny legal recourse to their own constituents.

HB 1274/ SB1499, would require the Attorney General of Tennessee, against their own judgement, to enforce regulations designed to no other end than to inflict misery on transgender people.

At times, it becomes necessary to restate core principles upon which our communities are founded. The latest volley of anti-LGBT legislation demands such a response.

We, the Northeast Tennessee Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, do hereby affirm the right of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons to enjoy the same dignity and respect as their heterosexual and cisgender peers, that this right is not subject to abridgment by government, and that such is their just inheritance as Tennesseans, as Americans, and human beings.

We would be remiss in not enumerating the consequences of these irresponsible actions. What follows is by no means exhaustive:

By legalizing discrimination against LGBT people, these acts make the existence of many young LGBT Tennesseans even more precarious at a time when mental illness and suicide rates among said demographic are spiking. Such degradation normalizes countless acts of physical and mental abuse. The blood of our children is on the hands of these apathetic lawmakers.

By endorsing these discriminatory policies, the government of Tennessee drives economic growth away from a citizenry yearning for prosperity. Business ventures face bleaker prospects in the face of these acts, and the whole of Tennessee suffers for no other reason than the vain prejudices of a wealthy few.

By resolving contrary to the highest appointed court authorities in these United States with regards to the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, legislators sow discord and controversy for no other reason than short-term political gain, to the detriment of the dignity and prosperity of each and every person in their jurisdiction. The well-being of Tennessee’s citizens is irrelevant.

We further resolve that HB 1369, HB 1152, HB 0836, HB 0563, HB 1274, SB 1499, SB 0364,  SB 1304 and SB 0848 are gross miscarriages of responsible government which deserve only derision and contempt from a free and just society. We identify the following persons as sponsors for these heinous assaults on human decency:

Rep. Tim Rudd, Republican, Murfreesboro
Nashville Address:
                            425 5th Avenue North
                            Suite 544 Cordell Hull Bldg.
                            Nashville, TN 37243
                            Phone: (615) 741-2804
District Address:
                            2904 Islington Drive
                         Murfreesboro, TN

Sen. Joey Hensley, Republican, Hohenwald
Nashville Address:
                            425 5th Avenue North
                            Suite 746 Cordell Hull Bldg.
                            Nashville, TN 37243
                            Phone: (615) 741-3100
District Address:
                            855 Summertown Hwy.
                            Hohenwald, TN 38462

Rep. John Ragan, Republican, Oak Ridge
Nashville Address:
                             425 5th Avenue North
                             Nashville, TN 37243
                             Phone: (615) 741-4400
District Address:
                             119 Morningside Drive
                             Oak Ridge, TN 37830

Rep. Jerry Sexton, Republican, Bean Station
Nashville Address:
                             425 5th Avenue North
                             Suite 672 Cordell Hull Bldg.
                             Nashville, TN 37243
                             Phone: (615) 741-2534
District Address:
                             P.O. Box 607
                             Bean Station, TN 37708

Sen. Mark Pody, Republican, Lebanon
Nashville Address:
                              425 5th Avenue North
                              Suite 754 Cordell Hull Bldg.
                              Nashville, TN 37243
                              Phone: (615) 253-0205
District Address:
                              113 South Cumberland Street
                              Lebanon, TN 37087

Sen. Todd Gardenshire, Republican, Chattanooga
Nashville Address:
                             425 5th Avenue North
                             Suite 732 Cordell Hull Bldg.
                             Nashville, TN 37243
                             Phone: (615) 253-0209
District Address:
                             P.O. Box 4506
                             Chattanooga, TN 37405

Rep. Jason Zachary, Republican, Knoxville
Nashville Address:
                             425 5th Avenue North
                             Suite 616 Cordell Hull Bldg.
                             Nashville, TN 37243
                             Phone: (615) 253-0317
District Address:
                             11726 Kingston Pike
                             Knoxville, TN 37934

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