Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition to hold Congressional lobby training July 12

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On Saturday July 12 the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) will host a Congressional lobbying training session at the West Nashville Police Precinct. Located in the community room at 5500 Charlotte Pike, the training session will run from 3pm – 5pm.

According to Secretary Marisa Richmond, lobbying appointments are well underway. “Besides those who are going to DC,” she said, “we aIready have a meeting scheduled for the Nashville office of Jim Cooper the week of July 14.  Other in-district meetings are also planned for late July and August with Tennessee House members.”

“The Nashville lobby training is being coordinated with P-FLAG Nashville to complement the upcoming National Transgender Congressional Lobby Days,” she said, noting the lobby days run from July 13-15. “We will talk about federal legislation only, with ENDA being the prime focus. We are also working to set up additional lobby trainings around the state.”

With ENDA in the news so much this past week, the question presented itself: does the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition plan to adjust course at all?

“No,” said Richmond. “Our focus remains the same. Since ENDA was introduced in 1994, prompting the very first transgender lobby day, trans people and allies have always been focused on explaining the importance of trans inclusion. We have faced determined opposition from many circles over the years, and the ugly, transphobic tactics employed recently in Maryland and Houston serve as a reminder that there is still much resistance to trans inclusion.”

Regarding ENDA specifically, she added, “We do not support the religious exemption, which has been the subject of much discussion over the past few days, and we disagree with the Supreme Court's ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, which has brought such scrutiny to the ENDA religious exemption, but our focus in the 2014 Lobby Day was always about trans inclusion, and it will remain that way.”

See also: The Advocate "Why some activists are still pushing for ENDA"