Are Moral Mondays coming to Tennessee? Maybe.

North Carolina’s Forward Together movement with its Moral Mondays led by North Carolina NAACP has become well known around the country as a way of building a coalition of progressives to resist a socially and economically conservative state legislature.


Equality North Carolina–an active participant in Moral Mondays

What about Tennessee?  There are stirrings of a movement inspired by Moral Mondays in Tennessee.  “Put the People First” seems to be the battle cry.  As the story at the link indicates, what we have so far in Tennessee isn’t quite what they have in North Carolina.  It’s a beginning, though.  Tennessee faces the challenges of being a wide state with many population centers that make it hard to gather the thousands that North Carolina has been able to marshal at the doors of its legislature.

Another difference seems to be the list of issues.  North Carolina’s movement now includes the full range of progressive issues including reproductive freedom and LGBT issues.  We are hopeful Tennessee’s movement includes all of these as well as immigration issues, etc.  But movement building takes time.

How to learn more:  Tennessee has a great opportunity to learn more about North Carolina’s movement on September 10 when Equality North Carolina’s executive director Chris Sgro visits Nashville.  We hope you will join us at the event at 6:30 p.m. at OutCentral located at 1709 Church Street.  You can RSVP here.  We will also use the event to encourage participants to sign a card thanking Mayor Karl Dean for becoming the first mayor in Tennessee to sign Freedom to Marry’s pledge.

Become a sponsor:  So far the event is cosponsored by OutCentral, Tennessee Young Democrats, and Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee.  We would welcome other organizations to cosponsor at no charge.  If your organization would like to be listed, contact us at .

Let’s see whether we can build an inclusive movement in Tennessee.



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Marriage PLUS means…safe schools for East Tennessee!

Over 100 people around the state have taken the Marriage PLUS pledge in which they commit themselves to continue working on the full range of issues that affect our community, even after marriage equality comes to our state.

One of those big issues for Tennessee is safe schools.  We are pleased to

The Knoxville crew with their pledge cards

The Knoxville crew with their pledge cards

launch SAFE (Schools Are For Everyone) Tennessee, a program to increase our work to support the safety of students in our schools.  Most of our safe schools work has been at the local level–helping citizens work with their school boards to advocate for safe schools policies.

Now we want to fill in additional gaps.  We are launching the program in East Tennessee.  Our program is designed to set up SAFE Tennessee committees in the Knoxville/Oak Ridge/Maryville area, the Chattanooga/Cleveland area, and the Tri-Cities area.  These committees will work with a part-time coordinator to handle reports of issues in schools such as  bullying and discrimination, support GSAs, and facilitate advocacy skills that allow local communities to advocate with their school boards.  The program would operate from October through March of every school year.

A generous donation of $1100 made possible by a TEP Foundation board member has made it possible to get started.  We would like to raise an additional $2500 to implement the program fully.  If you would like to give any amount dedicated to this program, go to the link.  If you would like to be on one of the three area SAFE Tennessee committees, let us know at .

We are also working on our plans for a similar program design for West Tennessee.

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Memphis is ready for DAY ONE, Murfreesboro next!


Last night in Memphis 22 people signed the Marriage PLUS pledge after a great Tennessee Ready for Marriage on DAY ONE session at First Congregational Church.  The group asked great questions and are even taking their preparation further by setting up group marriage counseling sessions which will not only benefit their relationships but also get them a discount on their marriage licenses.  They are also linking up celebrants who can solemnize their marriages in case we get a window of marriage equality after the 6th Circuit rules in our favor.

Next on the schedule is Murfreesboro on September 13.  If you’re in the area, we hope you’ll join us.

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Join us in thanking Mayor Dean for supporting the freedom to marry!

Mayor Dean with TEP's Walk group in 2011

Mayor Dean with TEP’s Walk group in 2011

Today Nashville Mayor Karl Dean announced that he is signing Freedom to Marry’s “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry” pledge.  We would like to thank Mayor Dean for becoming the first mayor in Tennessee to do so.  The announcement highlights the consistently strong support the Mayor has shown for equality and making Nashville a welcoming city.

In his statement, he noted, “I believe that all people should be treated fairly and equally and that their individual dignity should be respected. Embracing and celebrating our growing diversity makes our city stronger. Nashville needs to continue in that direction, and it’s my hope that joining this effort will help us do that.”

We were pleased to work with our national partners at Freedom to Marry on this announcement.

Thank the Mayor:  Please, join us in thanking Mayor Dean by adding your name to the petition below. You can also sign a hard copy thank-you card to him  on September 10 at our monthly event at OutCentral.  We invite you to attend the event, which starts at 6:30 p.m. that evening.  You can find out more and RSVP at the Facebook event page.

Here is the petition: 

Thank Mayor Dean for supporting the freedom to marry!


320 signatures

Share this with your friends:


Latest Signatures
320Brett WithersAug 28, 2014
319billy leslieAug 28, 2014
318Chris AndersonAug 27, 2014
317Evan CiapuraAug 26, 2014
316Benjamin HaglerAug 26, 2014
315Richard FulkAug 26, 2014
314Jeffrey Moritz JrAug 26, 2014
313Michelle KingAug 25, 2014
312Peter Morrison Aug 25, 2014
311david e johnsonAug 25, 2014
310Tami ScrogginsAug 25, 2014
309Jon Mark IveyAug 24, 2014
308Kaye HarveyAug 24, 2014
307Steve SmothermanAug 24, 2014
306Joyce CrowellAug 24, 2014
305Randy WeatherfordAug 24, 2014
304Nicholas KeelAug 24, 2014
303Tim HenardAug 24, 2014
302Chris ThomassonAug 24, 2014
301renee warrenAug 24, 2014
300Lia HintonAug 24, 2014
299Chuck HillAug 24, 2014
298Michael HartmanAug 23, 2014
297Tyler BurkeAug 23, 2014
296Judy BillingsleyAug 23, 2014
295Lindsey and Kristen MorganAug 23, 2014
294Carmen GaudAug 23, 2014
293Becca FisherAug 23, 2014
292Jessica MartinAug 23, 2014
291Deen ThompsonAug 23, 2014
290Tom BoughanAug 23, 2014
289Carolyn BailesAug 23, 2014
288Charlotte MorrisonAug 23, 2014
287Blake ScribnerAug 23, 2014
286Caroline RobertsAug 22, 2014
285Yvette HonakerAug 22, 2014
284Jeff RadcliffAug 22, 2014
283Alisa NeelyAug 22, 2014
282Omar LopezAug 22, 2014
281Kristen SmithAug 22, 2014
280Krista HillAug 22, 2014
279Steven RaimoAug 22, 2014
278Veronika ElectronikaAug 22, 2014
277Christopher SparksAug 22, 2014
276Dani DumontAug 22, 2014
275Carole BlankenshipAug 22, 2014
274Meg WilesAug 22, 2014
273Carl GoadAug 22, 2014
272Deborah AlcalaAug 22, 2014
271Jim Fields Aug 22, 2014

Let’s celebrate this important moment of leadership for Tennessee!


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DAY ONE program hits Nashville. Memphis and Murfreesboro up next!


Tonight 25 people participated in Tennessee Ready for Marriage on DAY ONE in Nashville.  17 returned Marriage PLUS Pledge forms, although more signed them based on the picture.  A few got away before we could collect them.

On August 25 we will bring the program to Memphis, followed by a visit to Murfreesboro on September 13.

The movement is growing.  Be sure to check out an event near you.

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Where’s the action today? Memphis and Nashville

Memphis:  Today the Shelby County Commission takes up Commissioner’s Steve Mulroy’s Equal Protection for All Logonon-discrimination resolution that would protect county employees.  If you live in Shelby County, please, go to this post and sign the petition.  It will generate an email to the members of the Shelby County Commission and let them know that you support fairness.  We also urge you to attend the Commission meeting wearing purple this afternoon.  To learn more and to RSVP, go to this link for the Facebook event page.



Nashville:  Tonight at 6:15, Tennessee Ready for Marriage on DAY ONE, a program that has been all over the state, comes to Nashville.  We will discuss how we can prepare for the first day of marriage equality in Tennessee and what issues we will need to deal with after marriagedayonered equality has been won.  To RSVP and learn more, go to this link for the Facebook event page.



Everywhere we can be:  TEP fights for you throughout Tennessee.  This month alone, we’ve been in Chattanooga twice, Knoxville, Johnson City, Cookeville, Collegedale, Memphis, and Nashville.  Your support makes it possible to have an impact statewide.  Please, consider making a contribution at this link.



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