Tennessee State Senate
Tennessee State Senate
Ban Gay Conversion Therapy in Tennessee
Gay conversion therapy is the practice of trying to change someone's sexual orientation from gay or bisexual to straight. It's been linked with suicide, depression, and anxiety. Dozens of medical and mental health organizations -- including the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics -- have called gay conversion therapy ineffective and harmful. Yet, it's still in practice in the majority of America: 36 states currently do not have legislation in place against gay conversion therapy, including Tennessee. A bill called the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act was introduced in the last meeting of Congress, the 115th, aimed at legally classifying conversion therapy as a fraudulent practice; however, none of Tennessee's lawmakers agreed to cosponsor it. This petition is part of a high school project aimed at bettering my community. Help me convince Tennessee's lawmakers to ban gay conversion therapy in my home state. The notion of banning this horrific practice is just beginning to gain national momentum, and you can contribute to that momentum just by signing this petition. Thank you!
Please Help Bring My Dad Back Home to His Family
My father Francisco Javier Adin was born in Jalisco, Mexico. In search of a better life, he immigrated to the U.S. about 20 years ago. Ever since he's been in the United States, as a matter of fact... for as long as he has lived, he as been an incredibly hard worker, a devoted man of Christ, and the most caring individual possible. On August 26th, he was provided with the opportunity to the path of legal immigration. He had been approved, with a waiver, to come to Mexico for his scheduled immigration interview. At the interview is when things took a turn for the worst... He was punished for his illegal entry with a permanent bar from entering the United States. This is a punishment that could not have been more harsh and undeserving. He has been indefinitely separated from his family and his business that he has owned for 10+ years. This has created the most extreme hardship for my family and the employees that he has led for years. My father has done nothing but good in his life for his family, friends, and the restaurant. He has never been in any trouble, not even a traffic ticket, he has paid his taxes in this country, and done everything that an American citizen should do although he's not. He has sacrificed so much in order to give our family, including my mother and 17 year old brother the best life possible. He has raised us to be grateful, humble, and a Christian family. For anyone that knows my father will always say the same thing which is that he is the most positive, humble, caring, and kind person. My brother now has to grow up without the loving support that my father provides, and my mother has to spend double the time at the restaurant to make up for my father not being able to be there which has put my mom's health in jeopardy. There is nothing bad that you could say about a man who has an extraordinarily strong faith in Christ, who puts his family before himself, and is selfless in an opportunity to help others no matter the expense. My father exemplifies every trait of a person who belongs in this country. He owns and operates The Hut Restaurant in Somerville, TN which is a landmark restaurant in that area. He has been the backbone of the restaurant which employs more than 11 employees. This has left my mother with the responsibility to completely run the restaurant with all that it entails which has been the most physically and mentally demanding action possible. We have all, as a family, pulled together to try to keep the restaurant running as it was while my father was there which has proven to be difficult for everyone. The customers, employees, and citizens of Fayette county have known Javi (his nickname) for years and know that this is something that needs to be fixed. This is an opportunity to take a step towards proper immigration reform. Signing this petition can help fix this tragedy that we have been going through. This is an unjust situation that my father has to endure and we ask, as a family, that you help take action in bringing him back home to his family and his business that he owns. Please take a few minutes out of your day to sign now and pass this on wherever you can. - The Loving Family of Francisco Javier Adin
Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families!
I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years, one-third in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered amerasian children, and descendants, of U.S. service members and civilian contractors previously stationed overseas. Filipino Amerasians are abandoned and neglected biracial children of Filipino mothers and American fathers (mostly members of the US armed forces). In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. As a former US colony between 1898 and 1946, the Philippines was home to millions of US soldiers and their dependents, even after its independence. Until 1992, the country hosted two of the largest US military facilities outside the US – Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base, which played major roles during the Vietnam and first Gulf wars. In 1982 US Public Law 97-359, or the Amerasian Act of 1982, allowed children from Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand to move to the US and eventually become American citizens, but those who were from the Philippines were excluded from the law, an exclusion which was upheld by the US Senate on the basis that many Filipino Amerasians were “conceived from illicit affairs and prostitution”, and were born during peacetime. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. service members who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2018, HR 1520, creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Currently, blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children. John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the life and the personal struggles as a Filipino amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggles to connect to their American military families. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017, HR 1520, now!
***HELP DEMAND JUSTICE*** #FREECYNTOIABROWN #JUSTICE
Cyntoia Brown, a 16-year old sentenced to life for the killing of Johnny Allen. Cyntoia Brown had been given up for adoption by her biological mother, Georgina Mitchell, when she was two years old. When Georgina became pregnant with Cyntoia, she continued consuming alcohol which may have resulted in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Georgina began using crack cocaine when Cyntoia was eight months old and Cyntoia was given up to Ellenette Brown. Even though Ellenette Brown provided a generally stable home, Cyntoia had not had sufficient stability in her life for proper emotional development and by 2004 had become a runaway. Sixteen-year-old Cyntoia Brown's sexual encounters had included many rapes, assaults during or before sex, and times when she was under the influence of drugs. Brown had a physically and sexually abusive pimp named "Kutthroat", who brandished guns at her and forced her into prostitution. Brown was picked up by a 43-year-old real estate agent, Johnny Allen and taken to his house on August 6, 2004. Brown stated that for several weeks, she had been repeatedly raped and was on drugs. When she arrived at Allen's house, she found it was full of guns. Brown said that she was afraid that she would be shot, which led her to shoot and kill Allen. Cyntoia Brown was then arrested for Allen's murder. From the day of her arrest she sat for six years until the start of her trial and she was convicted. She requested an assessment by Dr. William Bernet, a juvenile forensic psychiatrist from Vanderbilt University. She was found to have had a difficult childhood, but was considered competent to stand trial, and therefore tried as an adult, at the age of sixteen. She requested to testify on her own behalf at her trial, to tell her own story, but her legal team advised her not to do so. Prosecutors argued that her motive for killing Allen, a child rapist and predator who bought her from her pimp, drugged and raped her daily, was robbery. Brown was sentenced to 51 years to life for first degree murder. The prosecutor of the case had argued for life without parole by stating the importance of ensuring that dangerous and violent people are imprisoned, regardless of the circumstances that may have arisen to make them violent. After her conviction, her story caught the eye of a prominant Tennessee Attorney, Charles Bone, a Nashville attorney, who decided to join Brown's attorneys on the case. They argued for a new trial, particularly to allow Brown to testify on her behalf, something that was discouraged by her attorneys in the original case, to present evidence, and evidence about her developmental delays due to fetal alcohol syndrome. Brown’s new trial is in the appeal process as she sits in adult prison as the VICTIM. Brown is currently serving her sentence at the Tennessee Prison for Women. Did we somehow change the definition of #JUSTICE along the way?? Because.... Something is horribly wrong when the system ENABLES these rapists and the VICTIM is thrown away for life! To each of you responsible for this CHILD’S sentence, I hope to God you don't have children, because this could be your daughter being punished for punishing already!!!!!!!! PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION AND HELP ME GET JUSTICE FOR THIS BEAUTIFUL YOUNG GIRL WHO DOES NOT BELONG IN PRISON FOR THE ACTIONS SHE TOOK AGAINST HER PREDATOR/RAPIST. THE TENNESSEE JUSTICE SYSTEM HAS TAKEN AWAY THE REST OF HER CHILDHOOD AND ENTIRE ADULTHOOD, AND SHE WAS ALREADY ROBBED OF HER ENTIRE YOUTH. I WANT THIS CHILD TO KNOW LOVE DOES EXIST AND THE WORLD IS NOT ALL EVIL. I WANT CYNTOIA TO KNOW THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT HERE WHO SAW HER STORY, LISTENED, AND CARE ENOUGH TO DEMAND CHANGE AND JUSTICE FOR HER. PLEASE SIGN, SHARE, POST THE LINK ON YOUR MEDIA PAGES... AND WHEN THERE ARE ENOUGH SIGNATURES THE PETITION WILL BE SENT TO THE TENNESSEE GOVENOR, DEPT OF CORRECTIONS, SENATE REP, HER ATTORNIES, CONGRESS.... THANK YOU!!!! #ISTANDWITHCYNTOIA #JUSTICEFORCYNTOIA#FREECYNTOIABROWN #HOWMANYMORE
STOP THE KILLING, We Demand an Investigation of Lewisburg Animal Shelter's Practices
To see all current updates and links to all news stories as well as the protest, and much more, please visit our main page dedicated to the cause, http://www.pbatn.org/?page_id=1008 Our protest is scheduled for July 28th at 12pm at the Lewisburg City Square. Please see above link for more info on the protest. All Media Inquiries Can Be Directed To : Ronnie Van Zant President/Founder of Pit Bull Awareness of Tennessee 615-669-PITS (7487) firstname.lastname@example.org Over the last year, Lewisburg Animal Shelter has had many faults in its daily functions. They have refused to allow volunteers to assist them in the facility, refused to install much needed equipment, refused to repair the failing structure which has left animals within the facility open to the elements, and much more. The most recent atrocity to occur, which has happened multiple times, they have put down every sponsored dog in their facility. They refuse to release why they continue this practice to this day. The dogs put down on July 18 2012 all had commits to be saved from the shelter. This makes no sense, because someone was rescuing all the dogs in the shelters care, paying the adoption fee, and relinquishing any responsibility from the shelter. Instead, they used tax payer money to put down every single dog! This is an abuse of power and abuse of tax payers money. We are demanding an investigation into the practices of Lewisburg Animal Shelter and the city council who is making these decisions. This is animal abuse by the ones we pay taxes to and charge with caring for animals in their facility. Please let them know we demand explanations as to why they kill dogs. We understand they are a kill shelter, but if a dog has a commit that very day, then it should not have been put down, much less an entire commited population. And if they do have a reason, they need to be able to provide legal documentation as to their decisions and the findings that lead up to that decision. By law, they are required. And as well as documentation, they are required to keep part of the animals body and send it off the state for testing if it is a facility wide outbreak. So they have to answer and prove why they murdered every animal in their facility, multiple times before now as well. By signing this petition, it sends an email to everyone involved in this decision. Further more, you can contact the people directly involved by the info below : Willard Cates, Animal Control Officer 931-359-5948 Tommy Engram, City Manager 931-359-1544 Barbara Woods, Mayor931-359-1544 131 East Church StreetP.O. Box 1968Lewisburg, TN 37091931-359-1544Fax: 931-359-7055
Remove the penalty that prevents people with disabilities from marrying!
When we think of marriage equality, we think about the ongoing fight LGBT couples face, but another minority group must deal with the stark reality that they are better off living in long-term committed relationships, without marriage. Like LGBT couples, these couples are denied the right to over 1,100 rights afforded to married couples. They have been denied access into their loved ones hospital rooms, faced family disputes over wills and have been denied spousal benefits from their partners workplace or the government in the event of their partners death. These are people with disabilities. Many people rely on the government for medical and financial assistance. Without medical insurance they would have no way to live independently. They would be forced into nursing homes (some already are), which would cost the government significantly more than getting Medicare and/or Medicaid does. At the same time, this assistance comes with a price. The government expects married couples to share income and that affects any assistance the couple receives. For many, their spouse makes too much (even if they make meager SSDI payments). This cuts into the healthcare services these couples receive. For some, their able-bodied partners make too much to allow them to qualify for medical assistance, if married, but not enough to pay out of pocket for costly medical equipment, medicine, or any other needs the disabled partner has. Add in the fact that even when a person with a disability can work, the opportunity for quality medical insurance is hard to find, due to their pre-existing condition and you will understand why many couples with disabilities are forced to live in domestic partnerships. Also, if two people with disabilities marry and they are on SSI or SSDI, their payments are CUT significantly, making it hard for them to maintain independence and afford their own food, shelter, clothing or other necessities. The time to stand up is now!! Let your Senators and Representatives know you want to remove the income caps placed on individuals with disabilities, so they can keep the government assistance and still be able to get married. Every loving couple deserves the right to marry. No one should have to choose between their wheelchair and their love, their therapy and their love, their medication and their love, their ability to eat or have a roof over their head and their love!! Those are not choices!! Help make it possible for those with disabilities to share their love without being penalized!Join our fight for marriage equality for people with disabilities:https://www.facebook.com/MarriageEqualityForPeopleWithDisabilities
Don't Punish Transgender Students For Who We Are: Don't Pass HB 2414/SB 2387
My name is Henry Seaton. I’m a transgender student at a public high school in Tennessee. Right now, my state’s lawmakers are debating a set of bills that would cause enormous pain to me and other transgender students in my state. I need your help to make sure these bills never become law. These bills – HB 2414 and SB 2387 – would ban transgender students from using the restrooms in public schools and universities that correspond with our gender identities. I’m a boy – I live my life as a boy, my friends know me as a boy, my parents accept me as a boy. But now I have to use the teacher’s bathroom because a bunch of politicians feel uncomfortable with who I am? That’s not right. I often lay in bed too afraid to attend school. But I’m still fighting here. Join me to tell Tennessee lawmakers not to take this drastic step that would legalize bullying and stigmatize and humiliate transgender students. That’s not what laws should do. Bills like these are part of a nationwide wave of attacks on transgender people. Many of these attacks target and isolate students like me. In South Dakota committed activists and allies convinced the state’s governor to veto a bill just like the two I’m fighting in my state. At first, the situation looked bleak – the governor had never even met a transgender person before. But thousands of people took a stand to support the rights of transgender people, and we won a huge victory. I know we can do this in Tennessee. If we shine a spotlight on fear and misinformation, we can show Tennessee lawmakers that we won’t tolerate legislation that harms transgender students. Personally, I think our elected officials should spend their time making sure that every student can be safe and feel welcome. Where we can use the bathrooms is important enough, but these bills are about more than that. They add to the bullying, harassment, and violence we already face. Almost half of all transgender people attempt suicide at some point in our lives. I don’t want transgender students to be punished for who we are. We’re not alone in trying to stop these bills. After the victory in South Dakota, momentum is on our side. In Tennessee, 75 faith leaders have publicly opposed these bills. Thankfully, my state’s governor, Bill Haslam, is already worried about the hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Title IX funding that Tennessee would lose if these bills become law. We need to convince lawmakers how much is at stake. The tide is turning. And the voices of those of us fighting for transgender people’s safety and dignity are stronger than ever. Let’s stand together to protect all students and make public schools a place where all feel welcome. On behalf of the transgender students who will suffer if HB 2414/SB 2387 becomes law, thank you for taking action.
End Civil Asset Forfeiture in Tennessee! Restore Individual Rights and Due Process!
Civil asset forfeiture (CAF) consists of state and federal laws that allow government agencies to seize and keep private property that is suspected by a government employee of being involved in criminal activity. Unlike criminal asset seizures, CAF do not require the property owner to be found guilty or even charged with a crime to lose their cash, car, home, or other property. Tennessee is one of the worst states when it comes to protecting property rights from CAF. In our state, government must establish by only a preponderance of evidence, which has included a government employee’s suspicion as sole justification for private property being seized. This is opposed to the principles of beyond a reasonable doubt and innocent until proven guilty. In Tennessee, the average person harmed by CAF will have $502 in value seized from them, most are not able or willing to spend thousands to hire a lawyer. The process to prove your innocence can take more than a year in some cases. CAF can happen to almost anyone and does happen to tens of thousands of people in Tennessee. All that is needed is one government employee’s suspicion, anyone to conduct criminal activity on your property without your knowledge, a false alert by a dog, or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It violates your individual right to due process and property. It also violates the United States and Tennessee Constitutions. In 2000, the United States government passed CAF reform legislation and, in the late 1990s and 2013, Tennessee passed reform legislation. Despite these attempts, the abuses of CAF have continued. The only solution is the abolition of civil asset forfeiture in Tennessee. Fortunately, there is legislation to do this in the Tennessee House and Senate. Please support efforts to pass a no compromise bill and restore due process and our individual property rights. Please sign the petition and join the campaign to help end CAF in Tennessee. Your voice matters!