Memphis Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression Ordinance Dies

Last Tuesday, November 23rd, the Memphis City Council defeated the proposed ordinance regarding homosexual conduct and gender identity issues (cross-dressing, transvestitism, and transgenderism) among Memphis City employees. The defeat was on the second of the three readings an ordinance usually gets. Defeat of an ordinance on second reading is very rare. With the defeat, under the Council rules, the measure cannot be brought back for another six months.

The rarity of such a defeat, particularly on an issue like this, makes the silence by local media deafening and puts into serious question their credibility. For example, on October 26th, The Commercial Appeal wrote about the ordinance simply because it got out of a Council Committee. Then The Commercial Appeal covered it two weeks ago when the ordinance and resolution calling for a study on discrimination among Memphis City employees was approved on first reading. But when the ordinance they had twice covered was defeated on second reading and put off for at least six months, we saw not a word! (Interestingly, about 7 hours after this same story went out by email all over Shelby County, The Commercial Appeal posted a story online.)

We could also find no coverage about the ordinance’s defeat by any local news television stations though at least one had covered the story previously. Learn more about the ordinance and read the materials we submitted to the Council. And don’t be misled by the local media whenever it does cover the issue; you will see from reading the material at the link that this is about much more than a person’s private sex life away from the workplace.

Most importantly, please consider clicking on the e-mail addressed below to thank the following Council members who understood the broader issue and had the courage not to vote for the ordinance (They either voted no or did not vote, which had the effect of a “no” vote). They will definitely get plenty of negative comments, so let’s let them know that they are appreciated. A simple, “Thank you for your vote regarding the ordinance on homosexuality and gender identity” is enough.

District 1: Mr. Bill Morrison
District 2: Mr. William C. Boyd
District 3: Mr. Harold Collins
Super District 9 #1: Mr. Kemp Conrad
Super District 8 #1: Mr. Joe Brown
Super District 9 #3: Mr. Reid Hedgepeth

Stay tuned. The ordinance will be filed again in six months.