Category Archives: 2 mommies

Lesbian, Adopted Children Kept from Dying Partner’s Bedside

In yet another example of how domestic partnerships and civil unions fail to provide equal protections of marriage, a Washington woman filed suit against a Florida hospital after she and their three adopted children were refused access to her dying partner of 18 years–despite presenting legal health care proxies and power of attorney.

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Hate Crimes & Adoption Bills this week

Hate Crimes info:

Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition

For Immediate Release: Dated April 26, 2009

Hate Crimes Bills This Week

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition is anticipating a big week for Hate Crimes legislation at both the state and federal levels.

This Wednesday, April 29, the House Judiciary Committee will consider HB0335 by Jeanne Richardson (D-Memphis). This bill would add “gender identity or expression” to Tennessee’s hate crimes sentencing enhancement statute.

We were thrilled last week when the Criminal Practice Subcommittee passed the bill without any dissent or controversy. Please contact the members of the full House Judiciary Committee and ask them to vote “Yes” on HB0335:

Kent Coleman (D-Murfreesboro), Chair & Bill Co-sponsor,
Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol), Vice-Chair,
Janis Sontany (D-Nashville), Secretary & Bill Co-sponsor,

Eddie Bass (D-Prospect),
Karen Camper (D-Memphis), Bill Co-sponsor,
Vance Dennis (R-Savannah),
Chad Faulkner (R-Luttrell),
Henry Fincher (D-Cookeville),
Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown),
Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma),
Mike Stewart (D-Nashville), Bill Co-sponsor,
Eric Watson (R-Cleveland),

The House Judiciary Committee meets on Wednesday, April 29, at 8:30 am, in Legislative Plaza, Room 31.

We also wish to thank the additional co-sponsors who have signed onto the bill since it passed in subcommittee on Wednesday:

Sherry Jones (D-Antioch)
Mark Maddox (D-Dresden), House Democratic Whip
David Shepard (D-Dickson)
Mike Kernell (D-Memphis)
Janis Sontany (D-Nashville), Secretary, Judiciary Committee
MIke Turner (D-Old Hickory), House Democratic Caucus Chair
Gary Odom (D-Nashville), House Democratic Leader
Kent Coleman (D-Murfreesboro), Chair, Judiciary Committee
Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville)
Joe Armstrong (D-Knoxville), Chair, Health & Human Resources Committee

Furthermore, on Thursday, the Nashville chapter of the NAACP voted unanimously to endorse HB0335, and ask all of its members to support this legislation. We greatly appreciate their action as well.

This week, the United States House of Representative may also vote on federal Hate Crimes legislation, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, H.R.1913, possibly as early as Wednesday. The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition strongly supports this legislation which would provide federal support to local law enforcement to prosecute hate crimes targeting many groups, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

When the House passed this legislation in 2007, two Tennesseans voted in favor of it. Please contact Stephen Cohen (D) and Jim Cooper (D) to thank them for their previous support of hate crimes legislation and to ask them to vote YES on H.R.1913. Then please contact the other members of the Tennessee delegation and ask them to vote to help prosecute hate crimes:

Phil Roe, M.D.(R)
John Duncan (R)
Zach Wamp (R), candidate for Governor of Tennessee
Lincoln Davis (D)
Bart Gordon (D)
Marsha Blackburn (R)
John Tanner (D)

Other major bills of interest to TTPC this week are:

SB 1250, by Dewayne Bunch,
Ban on Teaching Sexual Diversity in Schools
Senate Education Committee
Tuesday, April 28, 3:30 pm
Legislative Plaza, Room 12
TTPC Opposes this bill.

*SB 1934 by *Burchett
Opposes Tennessee’s compliance with the Federal REAL ID Act of 2005
Senate Transportation Committee
Tuesday, April 28, 11:00 am
Legislative Plaza, Room 12.
TTPC Supports this bill

HB 1426 by *Niceley, companion bill to SB1934
Opposes Tennessee’s compliance with the Federal REAL ID Act of 2005
House Public Safety Subcommittee
Tuesday, April 28, 3:45 pm
Legislative Plaza, Room 16.
TTPC Supports this bill

Other bills of interest that were heard last week were:

HB 0451 by *Dunn
Requires, rather than encourages, school districts to include certain criteria in policies prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying.
Passed 90 to 2. The Senate companion bill had passed previously, 33 to 0.
TTPC Supported this bill

HB 0639 by *Maggart, Faulkner, Evans, Weaver
New requirements for Voter ID’s in Tennessee
House Elections Subcommittee
A Senate amendment opposed by TTPC was defeated. No further action on the bill has been scheduled to date.
TTPC Opposes this bill
A similar bill, HB1838 by Todd, was defeated in this same subcommitteee 2 weeks ago.

Marisa Richmond

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) is an organization designed to educate and advocate on behalf of transgender related legislation at the Federal, State and local levels. TTPC is dedicated to raising public awareness and building alliances with other organizations concerned with equal rights legislation.

For more information, or to make a donation, contact:

Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition
P.O. Box 92335
Nashville, TN 37209
(615)353-1834 fax

Adoption Bill info:
To whom it may concern,

We do not know if you are aware, but the Senate Bill 0078, amending Tennessee adoption laws, has passed the second consideration. It is currently being referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. If the bill goes into effect, it will be enacted July 1, 2009.

Tennessee Code Annotated Section 36-1-115A will be amended by adding the following language at the end of the sub section.

“Provided, however, no person in a cohabitating sexual relationship outside of a marriage that is valid under the constitution and laws of this state shall be eligible to adopt a minor.”

Tennessee Code Section 36-1-143 will be amended by adding the new stipulations such as:

“The prohibition of this section applies equally to cohabitating opposite-sex and same-sex individuals.”

Such inclusions are an outright discrimination against the LGBT community, as the state of Tennessee has not legalized marriage for same sex relationships. According to the Tennessee Department of Child Services, there are over 1200 child adoptions annually. Eleven of those adoptions were to unmarried couples while 269 were to singles. The department estimates that 236 of these adoptions were to singles that fall into the category of a cohabitating sexual relationship, however there is no data on the number of singles that were living in a cohabitating sexual relationship because TDCS does not collect the information during the process.

Considering this information, why is a bill being proposed to discriminate against these individuals when prior to this bill their relationship status was of no significance?

Not only is this affecting individuals seeking adoption, but also the tax payers of Tennessee. Assuming the passing of this bill, there will an increase in state and Federal expenditures with a total of $4,996,080, of which 49% ($2,448,079) will be through TennCare, which seems rather ironic due to the budget cuts of this program in the past few years.

We hope this bill does not pass because it would impact all Tennesseans. Aside from the impact upon the LGBT community, children currently residing with foster families in the state system would receive the largest blow as they reenter a state of limbo. Everyday taxpayers will also suffer monetary blows from this bill. As tax paying and voting citizens of the state of Tennessee, we hope that you would not stand for a bill such as this and contact your state representative concerning these issues. We are reaching out to you because we believe you to be concerned citizens who would act for what you feel is right.


Concerned Students at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville

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A Push Is On for Same-Sex Marriage Rights Across New England

This is in today’s New York Times. In Tennessee we struck down a sodomy law that was on the books in the early ninties and a few years ago fought the good fight against an ammendment to our state constitution defining marriage as ONLY between a man and a woman. (we lost… 89% voted for it)

Seems like the tides of change are flowing back in my birthplace of New England but they will take some time before they wash up on our shores here in the south I’m afraid.
-Peace & Love,

Published: April 4, 2009

BOSTON — The Iowa Supreme Court’s approval of same-sex marriage on Friday gave advocates an important first victory in the nation’s heartland, thwarting the notion that only the Northeast will accept it.

But for now, New England remains the nucleus of the same-sex marriage movement, with a campaign under way to extend marriage rights to gay men and lesbians in all six of the region’s states by 2012.

Link to the article

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Gay woman fights over hospital visitation rights in Miami court

A gay woman not allowed to visit her dying partner at Jackson Memorial Hospital in 2007 hopes a federal judge will allow her claims of emotional distress and negligence to go to trial.

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Las Vegas was really REALLY hot

The thermostat hovered around 109 degrees most of the week we there. The casinos were freezing with AC on full blast. I think it would be an ideal spot to put about 5,000 solar panels or more.
We had fun losing… well…most of the time…and took a side trip to see the Grand Canyon. We took Jen in the spring for her 21st birthday and saw shows then. Bette Midler’s is a must see. God she’s great and sooooo funny.

Emily & I at the south rim of the Grand Canyon

Emily & I at the south rim of the Grand Canyon

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ACLU hosting panel on adoption in Tennessee

As many of you know adoption by gays and lesbians in Tennessee is is once again an issue. My God! Oh I forgot…it’s an election year…how silly of me…it’s time to scare the right-wing christian fundamentalists to the polls. “Queers! Queers! They’re everywhere! Life is going to hell in a handbasket! My God they even want to provide a home for Children! We must stop them and then take down the names of every politician that doesn’t vote with us so we can use it against them in our campaign ads.”

Come on people time to get out and get active. Tuesday night be there or be square…

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From Maize Magazine/Land Dykes list serv today…

Brenda Henson is at the Jefferson memorial hospital in Pine Bluff Arkansas. She came out of kidney failure and congestive heart failure to have a pulmonary embolism when they tried to move her out of ICU. Things are touch and go. PLEASE, Wanda wants someone to send this out to all the land dyke lists, michigan, etc…

They have treated us horribly as a gay family. We have had to fight for Wanda to simply have spousal privileges and for her to be able to see Mom’s chart. The other night she was “gone” and we said our goodbyes to her…the next morning they said her kidneys had kicked back in and she was awake….we did not know if she was “awake” for 5 minutes or what. THEY WOULD NOT LET WANDA OR I IN TO SEE HER!!!!!!!! Security got called on me and I was told to calm down as she was not alone…”Jesus was with her.”

We need all the support and energy that a family can get. My Aunts, brothers, and partners are all here. We feel like we are the “circus side show” as these PEOPLE obviously do not know how to deal with a Gay family and the fact that we are all her kids, family, though it may not be by blood. Wanda is good, in control and hasn’t slapped somebody yet. Momma BEGGED to let Wanda come and help her with bed pan problems and they refused. It has been a literal mess. NOT FAIR!!! NOT FUCKING FAIR!

Damn them! Please send love and support and please send this out to EVERYONE you can think of! Send letters of disgust to the hospital administrator and demand they train their people how to deal with us in a respectful and compassionate manner!

Andie Gibbs-Henson

note: if anyone wants to send a note to me about this i’ll forward it to them on the maize list serv-val (send it to


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TEP needs your help to reach across Tennessee:Adoption Rights Update

Dear Valerie,

Yesterday the State Attorney General issued an opinion saying that there is no legal barrier to adoption by same-sex couples. While we welcome that opinion, I’m sad to report that less than 24 hours later, the far Right has announced an attack on our community’s adoption rights.

According to today’s (Nashville) City Paper, “Rep. Glen Casada (R-College Grove), who was one of the co-sponsoring Republicans on the 2005 bill, said he or one of his colleagues would try to ban same-sex adoption again this year. ‘Children should only be adopted by a man and a woman,’ Casada said. ‘That’s what we’ve built our society upon is a man and a woman raising the next generation. And it works.’”

In 2005 our lobbying efforts and your support helped defeat these kinds of attacks.

What will you do to make sure that deserving children find good homes and that our adoption rights are protected? We have an opportunity to prepare.

Will you commit to attend the fourth annual Advancing Equality Day on the Hill on February 19, 2008 and meet with your legislators about this issue? It sounds like a long time away, but it will be here before we know it after the holiday rush. We need people from every part of the state at Legislative Plaza that day to defeat this bill. For more information about this event, email public policy chair Marisa Richmond at

Will you consider holding a town hall meeting or even a house party in your part of the state to discuss the adoption issue in November, December, or January? Chances are a TEP speaker can come to your event and we can help publicize it. If you are interested in doing that, contact me at

Will you consider making a gift to support our lobbying effort? Having a presence on the Hill is not free. I wish it were, but the GLBT community in Tennessee needs to understand that we benefit from having a lobbyist at the Capitol and we all need to take responsibility for funding these efforts. Make your gift here:
Together we can defeat these attacks on our adoption rights and advance equality in Tennessee.


Chris Sanders
Chair and President

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Jennifer’s Demo

This is our daughter Jennifer singing one of my songs for a demo. We went in the studio last year and Costo Davis recorded it. (County Q studio)
Jen is a musical theater major and wants to sing, act & dance

ⓒ1995 Finally Free Publishing/BMI
Valerie Reynolds

Video: Reynolds Productions


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GLBT Families join the White House Easter Egg roll

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