LGBT Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Withdrawn in Memphis

Neither the Memphis City Council nor Mayor A.C. Wharton feels its important to protect LGBT people from discrimination. Therefore, Janis Fullilove (pictured), who last month received death threats and a dead cat on her lawn over her sponsorship of the anti-discrimination legislation, has withdrawn it, the Commercial Appeal reports:

Fullilove "The Tennessee Equality Project and councilwoman Janis Fullilove this morning withdrew the proposed ordinance, which would prevent the city from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in hiring or promotion of employees, and an accompanying resolution that would have included the ordinance’s language in city contracts. Fullilove and TEP members said it was clear the ordinance, which was scheduled for the second of three readings this afternoon, lacked support from the 13-member council and Wharton’s administration, which said two weeks ago that it favors a more general ordinance approved by the Shelby County Commission earlier this year. Michelle Bliss, vice chairwoman of the Shelby County Committee of the TEP, said council members were making decisions based on 'fear and prejudice.' …  'At this time we don’t think we can get a fair hearing,' said Bliss. Fullilove said she was disappointed that she had to withdraw the legislation."


  1. TampaZeke says

    Thanks for trying Miss Fullilove.

    Too bad you’re surrounded by people who are Fullashit!

  2. Jeff says

    Memphis is a sewer, but some of us have good jobs here. Please pray for us as we struggle for equality, and continue to generate those actions which, by way of our judicial system, will force our fellow Southerners to do the right thing.

  3. Matt Smith says

    Where is HRC ? What about the major companies that say they support us who have a major presence in Memphis – Nike, FedEx, Delta Airlines, Hilton Hotels, International Paper ……..what have they done to help push this law through the council?

  4. Joe says

    @Matt Smith, wouldn’t those companies just be able to say they have their own anti-discrimination policies, so they’re doing their bit. If this ordinance meant those companies would lose business, there is no way they would do anything about it.

    This is very sad. Who can really be against discrimination. I like Ms. Fullilove, and I hope this doesn’t cost her her seat among the bigots.

  5. SoItGoes says

    Very unfortunate. Even the few African-Americans who try to do the right thing get hell from their own communities on gay issues.

  6. says

    I feel for her, I really do. But this was a moment for her to have courage and a chance for her to truly understand what gays and lesbians go through every day.
    Where would we be if every progressive voice in the country waved a white flag in the face of threats?

  7. says

    @ JESS AVERY: it looks like she has displayed courage, but is doing the correct procedural thing by withdrawing the ordinance.

    @ JOE: I disagree, those companies should be fighting for a better community for their employees and their families.

  8. says

    Hey, this is Evan with Truth Wins Out. I was involved in what happened in Memphis today and I reported on it on Truth Wins Out about twelve hours ago. If anyone has any questions or wants any background, feel free.

    And no, Jeff and others, Memphis is not a sewer.

  9. Adam says

    Where would we be today if slavery abolitionists and racial civil rights leaders had thrown in the towel?


  10. says

    No, Adam, it wasn’t a “FulliFail.”

    This was done for a myriad of reasons, and again, Janis wasn’t responsible for pulling the ordinance.

    Throughout the council, this issue was treated as different from other issues. There were allies to be sure, but among those opposed, it was turned into a sideshow. Two members of the council betrayed TEP, and so did Memphis’s mayor, AC Wharton, who was theoretically supposed to be an improvement over his predecessor, the failure known as Willie Herenton.

    Janis is a little bit nutty, but for her to take the brunt of this is apeshit insane. This ordinance will come back, as strategy is involved here.

  11. badpoliticians says

    This is a blatant discrimination to the LGBTs by the people whom they voted into office. These politicians will not protect you, no matter if hundreds of Mathew Sheppards will die in Memphis. SHAME on you politicians who voted no! Ms. Fullilove will be back!!!

  12. christy says

    Boo Towerload for not doing more research on this story. A usually very informative blog and this is a real cut and paste job. When you want to do a real story on it, let us know. Its very easy to get a hold of the people involved.

  13. Rob says

    My guess is that when she saw she didn’t have the votes yet, she withdrew the ordinance because it will have a better chance of passing later down the road, rather than if it had been voted down. Makes sense, right?

  14. Fenrox says

    God I hate most everyone who comments on this site. I’m glad I read it though, I was always under the misconception that my Queer bothers and sisters were better than this.

  15. Jerry6 says

    What else can you expect from the State that produced Andrew Jackson, who, as President, defied the Supreme Court when he relocated the Indian tribes to Oklahoma with the comment”I control the Army; who does the Supreme Court have?”

  16. Fenrox says

    @Jerry6, Read a fucking book, Andrew Jackson had a crazy fucking presidency, yeah he had some fucking awful decisions but he did a lot of good too. And that’s coming from an indian, there were worse enemies than Andrew Jackson.

  17. Rodney Wollam says

    Jackson was a despicable human being and is probably, right now, ruling a particularly nasty piece of hell.

  18. says

    Citing lack of support, proposed Memphis anti-discrimination ordinance withdrawn
    Supporters have withdrawn a proposed anti-discrimination ordinance, citing a lack of support from the Memphis City Council and the administration of Mayor A C Wharton.

    The Tennessee Equality Project and City Councilwoman Janis Fullilove on Tuesday morning withdrew the proposed ordinance, designed to prevent the city from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in hiring or promotion of employees. An accompanying resolution would have included the ordinance’s language in city contracts.
    Fullilove and TEP members said it was clear the ordinance, which was scheduled for the second of three readings Tuesday afternoon, lacked support from the 13-member council and Wharton’s administration.

  19. says

    Local religious leaders had already expressed their views against the ordinance. Bishop Edward Stephens from Golden Gate Cathedral said: “It was a subtle move to desensitise what’s taking place as a way to ease in a lifestyle and to cause everyone who’s against it to agree with it.”

    Bishop Stephens also said that he felt the move would have “opened the floodgates”, adding, “the ultimate question is where – does all of this end? From here, then to the school[s], to the teachers. Where does this really stop?”

    Ms Fullilove expressed her regret at the failure of ENDO bill, which she reportedly claimed was due in part to “closed-minded” council members and lack of support from the Mayor of Memphis, A.C. Wharton.

    TEP said that they would bring the issue before the mayor and city council again when they felt the ordinance had a chance of being taken seriously and fairly by the city’s leaders.