Memphis and Nashville, TN: Members of the Tennessee Equality Project delivered petitions to the Memphis and Nashville offices of U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn today urging her to remove her name from an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court. The brief asks the Court to rule that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity should remain legal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The amicus brief can be found at this link: https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/18/18-107/113569/20190826112615797_17-1618%20-1623%2018-107%20Amici%20BOM%20Members%20of%20Congress.pdf . Senator Blackburn’s name can be found in the appendix at the end of the document.
724 people signed the petitions at events in Memphis, Murfreesboro, and Nashville in September. They read:
Dear Senator Blackburn:
As residents of Tennessee, we call on you to remove your name from the amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that argues that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not protect LGBTQ people. Sex stereotyping is at the heart of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Your constituents in Tennessee need these protections and we ask you to speak for them.
According to TEP Shelby County Committee Chair Shahin Samiei, “Having spoken with scores of Tennesseans, a consensus resonates that being fired for who we love or who we are is inconsistent with our values. Fire me for being bad at my job — don’t fire me for being LGBTQ.”
TEP executive director Chris Sanders notes, “Every month in Tennessee we are contacted by LGBTQ people who have been discriminated against on the job. We need legal protections and we need Senator Blackburn to represent all of us. There is wide agreement across the political spectrum that everyone deserves the chance to earn a living.”
The Tennessee Equality Project is a statewide LGBTQ rights and public policy organization founded in 2004. TNEP.org .
(The photo is of TEP Shelby County Chair Shahin Samiei delivering the petitions today in Sen. Blackburn’s office.)