With such a glowing review of our state legislature fresh in our minds, let's turn our attention to a group whose agitations against that aforementioned political institution are a breath of fresh air in the grim, Inquisition-like political dungeon of Tennessee politics.
The Tennessee Equality Project is launching a statewide rally this Sunday, Dec. 9, with demonstrations in Nashville, Memphis and Cookeville that are, according to a press release, intended "to urge President Barack Obama to sign an executive order barring job discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity by federal contractors and to call on the Tennessee General Assembly to end its legislative attacks on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people ahead of convening in January."
"The federal contractor executive order is our best chance in Tennessee to achieve job protections in the near future. We have few options in Tennessee after the Legislature deprived every city and county in the state of the right to determine the non-discrimination standards for its own contracting," said TEP president Chris Sanders. "The law that took away those options has been part of a pattern of attack legislation over the last few years. As we prepare for the 108th General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, we are also rallying to remind the public and our elected officials that we have an opportunity to make a new start without legislating discrimination." [Author's Note: See how many times you can type "108th General Assembly of the State of Tennessee" without dying a little inside.]
Since the state legislature acted to nullify Nashville's non-discrimination ordinance in 2011, such an executive order might be the TEP's next best chance at overturning the anti-gay legislation without resorting to pipe bombs and foul language.
The Nashville rally will take place at 2:00 PM Sunday at War Memorial Plaza. (Protip: Leave your tents at home, comrades.) More information can, as always, be found at the TEP's website.