TEP president offers tips for advancing equality


by Christopher Sanders
Tennessee Equality Project president

We have a clear cause in front of us in Tennessee.  We must do all we can to defeat SB0078, which would ban all couples cohabiting outside marriage from adopting children and SB0003/HB0009 and SB0005/HB0010, two bills that are of concern to the transgender community because they change the requirement for voter identification.

One of the most effective ways to fight these bills is to speak in person to our legislators. 

Here’s everything you need to know:

Schedule your appointment with your representatives.

Starting today, call your state senator and state representative to set up an appointment on Feb. 17.  Try to schedule your appointment between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.  If you don’t know who your legislators are, you can click here and find them along with their contact information.

*If you live in Memphis, Knoxville, Nashville, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga/Cleveland or Tri-Cities areas, contact your local TEP representatives before scheduling your meetings to avoid setting up multiple meetings with the same representatives.   
*    Memphis
*    Knoxville
*    Nashville
*    Murfreesboro
*    Chattanooga
*    Tri-Cities

Once you have scheduled your meetings, contact us and let us know the details of your appointments.  Then make sure to RSVP for Advancing Equality Day on the Hill by clicking here.

Coming to Nashville the Night Before
If you plan on coming to Nashville on Feb. 16, the night before Advancing Equality Day on the Hill, we recommend staying at the Doubletree Hotel at 315 4th Avenue North.  We have a special group rate of $99, but you need to reserve your room no later than Feb. 3.  

Call 1-800-222-8733.  Make sure to mention that you are with the Tennessee Equality Project for the rate.

Reception at Tribe the Night Before
To welcome our guests from out of town and to celebrate our unity as we fight these negative bills, we have planned a reception at Tribe located at 1517 Church Street beginning at 7:00 p.m. Central Time.  Come gather with friends as we prepare to take the Hill.

Advancing Equality Day on the Hill Schedule
At 8:30 a.m. Central Time, we gather at the Rymer Gallery located at 233 5th Avenue North.  Pastries and coffee will be provided to give you some energy to start the day.  We will provide you with a legislative briefing. 

Around 9:30 we will go as a group to Legislative Plaza and the War Memorial Building to meet with our lawmakers.  You will need government-issued photo identification to get into Legislative Plaza and the Capitol.  The rest of the day is free time, which you may use to attend committee hearings, tour the Capitol or see the sights in Nashville.

Thank you for taking the time to do something only you can do—speak directly to your lawmakers.  We know it’s a sacrifice to take a day to do so.  But when we stand up for ourselves, we make a difference.