A bill that has been dubbed the "Dignity for All Students" Act by the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) was amended this week to become part of a bullying study to be conducted by the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth and the Tennessee Department of Education.
The act, HB927, was an anti-bullying bill that would have included sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, etc. in its list of things children could not be bullied for in public schools.
Chris Sanders, executive director of TEP, said the bill was amended to become part of the study because it did not have the backing of the majority of the House.
Yesterday, TEP released this statement on its Facebook page:
"We would like to thank everyone who worked so hard for HB927. We will continue to work for passage of a new Dignity for All Students Act. Tennessee students deserve it, but the majority of our legislators do not yet back enumerated policies that we consider essential. So more study, more work, and more discussion is required."
Nonprofit same-sex marriage advocacy group Freedom To Marry launched their "Southerners For Freedom to Marry" campaign a few weeks ago, and now they're asking Southern supporters of equality to sign a pledge. The $1 million campaign is designed to grow support for equal marriage in the South.
A March 5th Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 50 percent of Southerners support same-sex marriage and 42 percent remain opposed.
Lance Bass, the Mississippi-born N'Sync member and host of Sirius OutQ's "Dirty Pop" radio show, appears with his fiancee Michael Turchin in the campaign's latest video.
So far, the campaign doesn't have a Tennessee co-chair, but it does have co-chairs in Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.
Relationships, sex, and books will take center stage at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (892 S. Cooper) over the next couple days.
* Tonight (March 11th), the Cultivating Priorities in Relationships (CPR) workshop will address the need for healthier relationship choices and maintenance for LGBTQ singles and partners. The eight-week series of CPR sessions meet every second and fourth Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. For more info, email Martavius Hampton.
* "Sex Later in Life: A Session for Mature Men" on Wednesday, March 12th at 5:30 p.m. features a discussion on "how sex can be fun, smart and safer as we age." Light refreshments will be served. For more info, email Martavius Hampton.
* The Meristem Women's Book Club meets on Wednesday, March 12th at 7 p.m. They'll be discussing When We Were Outlaws: A Memoir of Love and Revolution by Jeanne Cordova. Meristem meets on the second Wednesday of each month to discuss works written by women and LGBT authors. Next month (April 9th), they'll be discussing The Celestial Jukebox by Cynthia Shearer.
The first exhibit of a three-part installation series on the history of Memphis' LGBT community opens this Friday, March 7th.
The "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" series traces the oral history of the community through diverse viewpoints and voices. Its first exhibit, "Sweet Tea," will feature five portraits of people who were interviewed for the project along with audio recordings of their interviews about the community's history. The original works and installations were created by Michael Braden.
Those who attend are encouraged to bring their smart phones and headphones to hear the oral histories. Sweet tea will be served. The opening runs from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (892 S. Cooper).