by Christopher Sanders
Opponents of the proposed State constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman will rally in Nashville on February 22 for “Advancing Equality Day on the Hill.” Members of the newly formed Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Tennessee Steering Committee are organizing the event to draw citizens from across the State to talk to members of the Legislature about the amendment.
According to Maria Salas, member of the HRC board of directors, “Advancing Equality Day on the Hill gives us the opportunity to share our views with our legislators. We can make a compelling case if we actively join the conversation about the amendment.”
Two events have been organized to prepare advocates for meetings with State senators and representatives. The first is a training session called “Lobbying 101,” designed to educate the Middle Tennessee community on the principles of speaking effectively with their legislators. It takes place on Saturday, February 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. CST at the Oasis Center.
A second event is planned for statewide activists who may be unable to attend the February 19 training session. This one-hour orientation to the General Assembly will teach participants how to find their senators and representatives at Legislative Plaza and how to speak with them about marriage and other issues. The session starts at 9:00 a.m. CST (location to be determined).
Organizers expect participation from across the State. “We have been working with groups in Knoxville, Clarksville, and Nashville,” noted TEP President Brandon Hutchison. “Our movement will include advocates from Chattanooga, Memphis, and other communities in the coming weeks. It’s important for the Legislature to hear voices from all over Tennessee.”