lgbtq

Tennessee Equality Project endorses two Republicans (and 19 Democrats)

The Tennessee Equality Project has endorsed Republican state Sen. Steve Dickerson over Democratic challenger Heidi Campbell. And in the open House District 18 race, the LGBTQ advocacy group has given the nod to Republican businessman Eddie Mannis over Democrat Virginia Couch.

Nineteen other TEP endorsements went to Democrats nominees, plus one independent, and one write-in candidate.

“I’m honored to have the endorsement of the Tennessee Equality Project – they are at the forefront of protecting the rights for the LGBTQ community in Tennessee,” Dickerson said in a release. “I have always fought for equal rights for all Tennesseans, and I will continue to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community.”

Here’s the release from the TEP:

Tennessee Equality Project lobbies the Tennessee General Assembly and local governments around the state on behalf of the LGBTQ community.  We are pleased to endorse a strong group of candidates for state and local government this year, including a number of LGBTQ candidates who can significantly change the conversation about our issues in Tennessee.  The Slate of Hate, which is a set of vicious anti-LGBTQ bills, looms as a threat when the Legislature reconvenes in January. On the other hand, we have important opportunities to advance equality in many of our cities.  The candidates we have endorsed can play a vital role in fighting discrimination and making life better for LGBTQ Tennesseans.  

TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ENDORSEMENTS

TN Senate District 6-Knox County

Jane George

TN Senate District 10-Bradley and Hamilton Counties

Glenn Scruggs

TN Senate District 14-Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall, Moore, and Rutherford Counties

Chase Clemmons

TN Senate District 20-Davidson County

Sen. Steven Dickerson

Our endorsement goes to Sen. Steven Dickerson, who has spoken passionately on the floor of the Senate against discriminatory bills and voted against them every time. In addition, as Chair of the Senate’s State & Local Government Committee, he has been a strategic partner in helping us navigate the legislative process to the significant benefit of our community. 

We also wish to offer our thanks to candidate Heidi Campbell for her strong statement of support for the LGBTQ community during our survey process and for her outreach to our community.

TN Senate District 22-Houston, Montgomery, and Stewart Counties

Ronnie Glynn

TN House District 4-Unicoi and Carter Counties

Bobby Harrell

TN House District 6-Washington County

Brad Batt

TN House District 13-Knox County

Rep. Gloria Johnson

TN House District 18-Knox County

Eddie Mannis-LGBTQ candidate

TN House District 25-Cumberland, Putnam, and Van Buren Counties

Robyn Deck

TN House District 37-Rutherford County

Mariah Phillips

TN House District 38-Clay, Fentress, Macon, Pickett, and Scott Counties

Carol Abney

TN House District 40-DeKalb, Smith, Sumner, and Trousdale Counties

Paddy Sizemore

TN House District 48-Rutherford County

Matt Ferry

TN House District 49-Rutherford County

Brandon Thomas-LGBTQ candidate

TN House District 56-Davidson County

Bob Freeman

TN House District 63-Williamson County

Elizabeth Madeira

Our endorsement goes to Elizabeth Madeira for her strong outreach to the LGBTQ community. We also wish to commend candidate Brad Fiscus for his clear expressions of support for our community.

TN House District 82-Crockett, Haywood, and Lauderdale Counties

Andrea Bond Johnson

TN House District 83-Shelby County

Jerri Green

TN House District 89-Knox County

Keri Keeling (Write-in candidate)

TN House District 90-Shelby County

Torrey Harris-LGBTQ candidate

TN House District 96-Shelby County

Dwayne Thompson

TN House District 97-Shelby County

Gabby Salinas

Supreme Court decision lauded by Nashville LGBT Chamber

The Nashville LGBT Chamber is lauding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that employers can’t discriminate against gay and transgender employees.

Here’s the full release:

Nashville, TN (June 15, 2020) –  In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court has now ensured no employer has the right to discriminate against a person because of their sexual orientation or gender identity through the expansion of Title VII. The ruling grants federal job protections to gay, lesbian, and transgender workers to further advance the cause of LGBTQ rights. Conservatives Chief Justice John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch joined the court’s four liberal justices in the majority. 

“This decision reminds us that change is possible when we pursue it from every avenue possible, advocating at the legislature, challenging discriminatory legislation through the courts, organizing and protesting in the community and voting for pro LGBT candidates in every election.” said Joe Woolley, CEO.  “We are particularly proud that even traditionally conservative justices agree that LGBT rights are human rights now enshrined in our laws.”

Business will continue to be the catalyst for continued advancement and positive change for our diverse and marginalized communities. Our 500+ members understand the economic imperative of inclusion and diversity within their businesses and through their policies.  

Woolley continued, “After marriage equality 5 years ago next week, many LGBT and ally people thought the movement for equality was over. They did not realize that you could be married on Saturday and then fired on Monday in over half the country. 28 states had little or no workplace protections for the LGBT community. About 4.5% of the U.S. population, or roughly 11 million people, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer; 88% of them are employed.” 

The LGBT community is a vital part of the American economy and deserves equal treatment under the law. This decision is a shining light in an otherwise tumultuous climate. This is a victory for our community and exemplifies the work of organizations like the Nashville LGBT Chamber. We will continue to advocate for LGBT rights in the workplace. 

 

7 Tennessee companies get top rating from Human Rights Campaign

Seven Tennessee-based companies received the highest rating for their policies toward LGBTQ employees in the latest Corporate Equality Index by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. They are AllianceBernstein, Asurion, Bass Berry & Sims, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Genesco, Haven Behavioral Healthcare, and Unum Group.

Seven other companies rated at below 40 on the group’s 100-point scale: Autozone, International Paper, Community Health Systems, Delek Holdings, Envision Healthcare, Lifepoint Health, and Tractor Supply Company. The last two received zero out of 100.

Here’s the full release from the Human Rights Campaign:

WASHINGTON – America’s leading companies and law firms are stepping up in record numbers to adopt increasingly forward-looking policies and practices to meet the needs of their lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workers in the U.S. and abroad, according to the 2020 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) released today by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization.

In the most rigorous assessment of LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies and practices to date, a record of more than 680 companies have been designated a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the HRC Foundation for their efforts in satisfying all of the CEI’s criteria results, earning them a 100 percent rating. Top-scoring companies include seven in Tennessee.

In total, 1059 companies and law firms were officially rated in the new CEI, up from 1028 in last year’s survey. The report also unofficially rated 122 Fortune 500 companies, which have yet to respond to an invitation to participate in the CEI survey assessing their LGBTQ policies and practices. The average score for companies and law firms based in Tennessee is 70 percent. Of the 25 companies ranked, seven earned 100 points, 13 earned 90 points and above, and 15 earned 80 points and above.

For the first time, HRC this year is giving special recognition to the 11 companies that earned top marks on all three of HRC’s workplace equality assessments: the CEI, as well as Equidad MX and Equidad CL. HRC’s groundbreaking Equidad program recognizes Latin American companies and U.S. multinational companies for their work in Mexico and Chile.

“These companies know that protecting their LGBTQ employees and customers from discrimination is not just the right thing to do — it is also the best business decision. In addition, many of these leaders are also advocating for the LGBTQ community and equality under the law in the public square,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “From supporting LGBTQ civil rights protections in the U.S. through HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act, to featuring transgender and non-binary people in an ad in Argentina, to advocating for marriage equality in Taiwan — businesses understand their LGBTQ employees and customers deserve to be seen, valued and respected not only at work, but in every aspect of daily life.”

Employer Headquarters Location State 2020 CEI Rating
AllianceBernstein LP Nashville TN 100
Asurion LLC Nashville TN 100
Bass, Berry & Sims PLC Nashville TN 100
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Chattanooga TN 100
Genesco Inc. Nashville TN 100
Haven Behavioral Healthcare Nashville TN 100
Unum Group Chattanooga TN 100
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC Memphis TN 90
Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. Nashville TN 90
Change Healthcare Nashville TN 90
Dollar General Corp. Goodlettsville TN 90
Eastman Chemical Co. Kingsport TN 90
Nissan North America Inc. Franklin TN 90
FedEx Corp. Memphis TN 85
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. Lebanon TN 80
First Horizon National Corp. Memphis TN 75
HCA – Hospital Corporation of America Nashville TN 70
Regal Entertainment Group Knoxville TN 60
AutoZone Inc. Memphis TN 40
International Paper Co. Memphis TN 30
Community Health Systems, Inc. Franklin TN 20
Delek US Holdings Brentwood TN 20
Envision Healthcare Holdings Inc. Nashville TN 20
LifePoint Health Brentwood TN 0
Tractor Supply Company Brentwood TN 0

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