Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Memphis Churches Oppose Non-Discrimination Ordinance

It's unbelievable that a city the size of Memphis, Tennessee, with its historical role in the civil rights movement, would be one of the few major U.S. cities that does NOT protect gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people from discrimination.

I began work on a city non-discrimination back in 1996 as co-chair of the Memphis Lesbian & Gay Coalition for Justice. We had the support of then Mayor Willie Herenton and a few city council members, but the ordinance was stalled for years. (Herenton is now running for the U.S. House of Representatives against Steve Cohen by opposing gay marriage and pandering to anti-gay black pastors and churches!)

Now the Tennessee Equality Project has revived the city non-discrimination ordinance and it is finally being introduced to the Memphis City council by council member Janis Fullilove.

As expected, the anti-gay churches, led by conservative mega-church Bellevue Baptist Church are opposing the ordinance, claiming that the ordinance would somehow discriminate against Christians and churches.

The ordinance was presented for the first time today, and will be up for several readings and more debate and discussion in coming weeks.

If you live in Memphis, TAKE ACTION now to contact the Memphis City Council and urge them to support the ordinance.

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Commercial Appeal: Ordinance Banning Sexual Orientation Discrimination Goes to full City Council

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