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.  


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

19 Responses to Tennessee Equality Project endorses two Republicans (and 19 Democrats)

  • Avatar
    Beatrice Shaw says:

    Good to see at least two Republicans ‘with a heart’ in Tennessee.

  • Avatar
    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    And now you know, if you didn’t already know, why I sent the maximum contribution to Gina Oster in her race against Eddie Mannis. Of course, Eddie Mannis is a homosexual as well as a centrist so that no doubt gave him a leg up in receiving the endorsement of this organization, a full member of the Grievance Industry. As for Dickerson, having someone in the Senate Republican Caucus mouthing liberal nonsense was the motivation behind that endorsement which is OK so long as no one else in the caucus takes the nonsense seriously.

    • Avatar
      Taxpayer #314 says:

      Everyone knows exactly why you send “maximum contributions” to these people, is the objective your feeble attempt to impress us with your financial ability or to make us give up hope because we are underfunded? It really doesn’t accomplish either, Stewart.

    • Avatar
      Donna Locke says:

      Stuart, I am a supporter of the Tennessee Equality Project. I have given them money and have supported them in other ways. I diverge from them on a couple of perspectives, such as personal private-business decisions that involve freedom over one’s labor, but my heart is with the Project’s efforts. Chris Sanders and some others with this org have done an extraordinary job.

      • Avatar
        MARLE says:

        “Freedom over one’s labor’. I don’t want to presume what seems obvious but what does that mean to you? And does this provide for discrimination in hiring for race, gender, religion etc?

        • Avatar
          Donna Locke says:

          I am not referring to hiring. I am referring to the work one does oneself, one’s own labor. I support the right of the cake bakers to refuse to make a cake for someone, for example, though it makes me sad they would refuse to do something for someone just because that customer is LGBT. The bakery is a private business, private labor unsupported by tax dollars. If tax dollars are involved, I’d say fire the worker, etc., and hire someone who will follow civil rights laws. If you work for government, or your business gets public dollars in any way, you should follow the law or be fired or have the government funding withdrawn. See county clerks and marriage licenses.

          Our own private labor belongs to us and no one else. This must be a right protected for everyone. I could expand on my views and have, elsewhere.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            So a private practice lawyer could refuse to serve Blacks. A private practice doctor refuse to serve women and so on? I think the concept at work here is that once you offer services to the public and engage in public commerce you must serve the public incl the Blacks, women, Jews, etc who make up that public.

          • Avatar
            Donna Locke says:

            My position is that, unless your work is publicly funded, you should have the recognized right to refuse to do work for anyone you don’t want to work for or serve. I understand this may go up against civil rights laws, but the U.S. Supreme Court is now pondering these rights, as with the cake baker who refused to bake for a gay couple. We have to consider that there are rights that must be reserved to the individual. Every individual.

            As a writer with copyrighted work, I and I alone choose to whom I will sell my rights to my work. I pick my publisher according to my own criteria. The government does not tell me what to do with my labor. This should be true for everyone. Otherwise, we are slave labor without true ownership of our labor or ourselves.

            I understand the issue is complicated, but really, the starting point, the foundation, in personal rights is simple.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            We are already “slave labor”. Check the tax code for proof of that.

            You cannot offer Your house, the one you might have built with your own hands in a neighborhood that bears your name….but once you offer that for public sale you cannot refuse to sell it to a Jew, Catholic, Black etc. I don’t know anything about copyright law and how that insulates your decision about what publisher to choose IF you wanted to make your choice based on bias with regard to a protected class.

            If your position is that people should be able to refuse to sell their property to a person b/c they are Black, or serve them in a restaurant that serves the public b/c they are Hispanic that is a position I thought we resolved in the Archie Bunker decade.

          • Avatar
            Donna Locke says:

            Marle, you seem unable to follow my statements about work and labor, so there is no point in response to other issues you are bringing up. Yes, I can pick, or, for the illustration of the point here, turn down any publisher or agent who wants to buy a manuscript from me. I can also retain a number of rights to my work while selling some. Let’s say I am looking at the descriptions and comments of a long list of literary agents. I will select only those whom I feel are simpatico with me, and those are the ones I will choose to query for a business relationship. I can avoid or disqualify anyone I wish, it doesn’t matter the gender, race, national origin, religion. Agents do the same. If they don’t want to work with you for any reason, they simply don’t respond or they tell you they are not the right agent for your work. This is accepted practice. If I am looking at small publishers to pitch to directly, I would pick only those I feel comfortable with and have things in common with. So if I have this freedom over my own labor and my decisions about the people I do business with, why can’t everyone?

            As for selling a house, I don’t care who buys my house. If I am renting out a room in my house, I want total control.

          • Avatar
            Donna Locke says:

            One other thing, one’s work is an expression of oneself, not just with the creative arts but with any work, this is personal expression, so the Supreme Court has been looking at First Amendment application in regard to, say, the cake bakers and the florists and others who have turned away LGBTs. This is part of my argument, also.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Well Donna, if you are looking for simpatico collaborators or agents or buyers or whatever and that is the only criteria then there is no problem. But if you want to sell your labor to only white people and that choice is made based on skin color then the law is Not on your side.
            A house painter cannot refuse to sell his talent and his labor to everyone BUT the Black or Jew or Catholic or Muslin. He simply can’t do that. And when you find the supreme court case that says otherwise you let me know.

            The cake baker could not possibly get away with baking cakes only for white people. So, by law, is NOT able to control his labor unless he wants to close his business. As long as he offers his labor to the public he offers it to all the public.

            The cake baker’s only argument was that it violated his Religious beliefs. There you have 2 competing rights. But a house painter……he’s going to have to sell his labor to anyone regardless of color, race, national origin or any other protected class.

          • Avatar
            Donna Locke says:

            As it happens, I am up baking cakes at the moment, though not for sale. From what they said, the Supreme Court justices would like a revisit, from another angle, of the cake-baker case, and maybe a similar case will come before them, and individual rights to one’s own labor will be recognized as I strongly feel they should be.

            Writers and literary agents and publishers most certainly do discriminate before going into business together. Everything revolves around ability to relate to and appreciate a work. And the ability to identify a readership. The backgrounds of the parties involved–agents and publishers and editors–are a major factor in these decisions. Age is a factor, gender is a factor, race and ethnicities are factors, the region one is from is a factor in these business relationships. You look for people who will “get” it, and you learn to discriminate or you will be sending the manuscript out for years to agents who are not even your likely readership and can’t relate to your readership. Agents do the same in reverse. They pick what they can identify with and think they can sell. They are not required to provide a reason for rejecting an author. If they provide one, it can be very vague. I prefer female agents, and I discriminate on that basis. A lot of male agents prefer working with male authors, because they write the kind of thing these agents want to read and can be enthusiastic about representing. Some ethnic agencies and publishers discriminate in favor of the minorities they want to represent and publish.

            One wants a wide readership, but getting there requires a lot of selling first, and one learns to narrow it down.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            You started with the broad concept that all labor should be your own to do with as you will. And your follow on premise was that the Supreme Court would rule as such. Neither you concept nor your SCOTUS prediction is valid. The example you provided in excruciating detail has so many variables that bias could not be establish even if one existed. For the vast majority of labor such is not the case.

          • Avatar
            Donna Locke says:

            Oh yes, personal ownership of oneself, one’s expression, and one’s labor is valid AND recognized in some fields, as in copyrighted work. So why not all? You simply have no good argument to what I presented. You have only snide opinions.

            As for my example of the literary world, clear bias is accepted and even advertised in the literary business. For the reasons I gave above.

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