Tennessee’s first LGBT historical marker honors Penny Campbell

penny campbell for web.jpg

Tennessee's very first historical marker honoring the LGBT movement will be installed in East Nashville this weekend.

Among numerous other achievements, Penny Campbell was the lead plaintiff in the successful Constitutional challenge here in Tennessee that ultimately decriminalized gay sex, back in 1996. She was a founding organizer of Nashville annual Pride festival. From an In Memoriam article we published upon her passing in 2014, we noted: 

Her work as a community organizer, on the other hand, did much to solidify the LGBT community and to provide a foundation upon which we could grow and develop.

Two decades prior to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that granted marriage equality across all of America, Penny was one who visited county clerks offices in Tennessee to request same-sex marriage licenses. From her friend Diane Easter:

What do you say about a woman who gathered people around her kitchen table in the late 80’s to organize Tennessee participation in the 1987 March on Washington? What can you say about a woman who carried a picket sign on her own university to protest the highly ineffective Presidential Commission on AIDS which was meeting on campus? 

Friends, community supporters, and dignitaries will gather on Saturday Decmeber 9 at the corner of Rudolph and McEwen Avenues at 1pm for a dedication ceremony. O&AN will stream live from the event via Facebook. The event will feature music by Jesse Correll and Kristen Ford. And the Lipstick Lounge will host an after-party. 



See also:

In Memoriam: Penny Campbell

Metro Historical Commission approves first marker to honor LGBT struggle (via Nashville Public Radio)