Not content to merely consider eradicating any mention of homosexuals from their schools, today the Tennessee senate will vote to repeal all LGBT protections offered to Nashville Metro contractors. Republican Senator Mae Beavers (depicted here without makeup in her secret fortress) introduced the bill. Nashville had excluded all church and faith-based organizations from having to hire queers, but Tennessee’s legislators are out to get all us queers and other vulnerable minorities too! Let’s learn more about their hellacious agenda!
According to Jonathan Cole, the Board Chair of Tennessee Equality Project, “What you’re seeing in Tennessee is a shift in power in the legislature. It’s the first time since Reconstruction that the Republicans have held a majority in both houses of legislature—it’s a 2-to-1 majority. And that has changed the tenor of what’s happening. In addition to bills hostile to the LGBT community, you see bills very hostile to other groups as well. There’s a bill designed to allow teachers to teach other “theories” outside of evolution like creationism and intelligent design. There’s a bill that would allow the governor to designate certain organizations as a terrorist organizations, a bill to prohibit any practice of Islam and the following of Sharia law, bills opposed to repeal living wage legislation at the local level, and a lot of anti-union and anti-teacher bills as well.”
The “Special Access to Discriminate Act” as he calls Beavers’ bill hasn’t been scheduled for a vote but it has been sent to the Senate Calendar Committee who will decide when it will come up. There is a smidgen of good news though. The “Don’t Say Gay” bill keeps getting deferred in the Senate. It was originally scheduled to be voted on today but it’s since been deferred. Of course, the Senate legislative session continues until the end of May so it could well pass before the end of the month. But at least the House has already passed on the bill and won’t pick it up again until next January.