LGBT Section

The section strives to enhance the status of and provide opportunities to LGBT attorneys and their allies, and to advocate for the TBA's participation on issues of concern to members. Learn more, contact Jenny Jones at

Legal Aid of East Tennessee
311 W. Walnut St.
Johnson City, TN 37604
Immediate Past Chair
University of Memphis Cecil C....
One North Front Street,
Memphis, TN 38103
Bank Director
201 Summit View Drive
Brentwood, TN 37027
Staff Coordinator
Tennessee Bar Association
221 4th Avenue N. Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37219

Gay Alumni Raise $300K to Save University of Tennessee Pride Center

A fundraising campaign launched by a gay University of Tennessee graduate, Chad Goldman and his husband, LGBT rights advocate Brian Pendleton, raised more than $300,000 on the Feb. 1 kickoff event for a plan to permanently fund the LGBT Pride Center at the university's campus in Knoxville.
The university's LGBTQ Pride Center was threatened with closure in 2016 after state lawmakers passed HB2248, defunding the university's Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Critics of the office accused it of promoting "political correctness" by encouraging the use of gender-neutral pronouns and supporting an annual student-initiated event called Sex Week, which involves panel discussions and forums addressing issues including sexuality, sexual assault prevention and sexually transmitted diseases.
"It's unfortunate we are in this place because of the politics of the legislature, but this effort is not at all about politics," Goldman told the Knoxville News Sentinel. "It's just about funding a place for LGBTQ and questioning students to go where they can find fellowship and guidance and support at a time that's very difficult."
State Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga), a lead sponsor of the State Senate version of the defunding bill accused the diversity office of being "very political and polarizing" and giving a "horrible reputation" to the university and the state. "If they clean up their act, then I'll focus my attention on something else," Gardenhire told the Knoxville News Sentinel. "But if that office continues to become very radical and polarizing, then I will, of course, focus my attention back on that to take that money away and apply it to something very useful instead of something very divisive."
UT Chancellor Beverly Davenport asked Goldman to raise funds for a separate, privately-funded endowment for the Pride Center, with a goal of $3 million. Goldman is confident the campaign will reach its goal, saying "if we can [raise $300,000] in one single night, I feel very confident that we are going to get there." More information on the Pride Center project can be found here.
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The Protest Movement as a Tool for Social Change: Fifty Years Post-King

The Ben F. Jones Chapter of the National Bar Association presents a dynamic day of programming in recognition of 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis. This program explores the protest that brought Dr. King to Memphis in 1968 and the legacy that his untimely death has left on the fabric of the city. The event will focus on the protest movement in its current state as well as provide updated information on the law surrounding assembly, protest and municipal responsibility.
The program features local historical figures who worked with Dr. King, representatives of the media, City of Memphis, local activists, attorneys and judges.
Speakers and producers include:
  • Barbara Arnwine, Esq., CEO and Founder of the Transformative Justice Coalition, Washington, D.C. 
  • Judge Earnestine Hunt Dorse, Municipal Court Judge, Memphis
  • Bill Cody, Burch, Porter and Johnson, Memphis
  • Earle Schwartz, Memphis Bar Association President, Memphis
  • Judge Bernice Bouie Donald, United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Memphis
When: Feb. 23, 9 a.m. CST
Where: Fogleman Business Center, First Floor Amphitheater, 330 Innovation Dr., Memphis, Tennessee 38152
Contact Florence Johnson by email or call her at 901-725-7520 for more information.
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