TEP’s day on the hill ‘productive’

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Tennessee Equality Project’s third annual Advancing Equality on the Hill had more than 60 constituents from across Tennessee talk to their legislators about issues important to the GLBT community.

It was, said TEP President Christopher Sanders, a successful and productive day in many ways.

"The day went very well,” Sanders said. “We had such great regional diversity from all parts of the state to talk to their representatives and senators.”

Sanders said GLBT community members attended from Memphis, Knoxville, Nashville, Franklin, Brentwood, Gallatin, Hendersonville, Martin, Jackson, Paris, Hermitage and several other areas across the state.

“The number of people attending was up from last year,” Sanders said. “And the reaction that we got from legislators was very positive – from lawmakers of both parties.”

Two of those attending were Lane Scoggin and his partner Shane Burkett. They talked with Rep. Deborah Magggart (R-Gallatin) and Sen. Joe Haynes (D-Goodlettsville).

Maggart is the state representative who said gay people where “unfit to parent” during last year’s legislative session.

"I thought both meetings went well,” Scoggin said. “We talked about the license plate bill and both supported it. We also talked about a bill that would require parents approve or sign off on all kid’s school clubs. In other states that has been used as a back door to shut down gay straight alliances.”

Sanders said that so many bills had been filed this year that it was helpful for the TEP group to personally meet and identify bills and “educate our legislators.”