Monday, August 9, 2010

Memphis SP Statement on the Non-Discrimination Ordinance

The Memphis Socialist Party strongly supports the proposed amendment to Chapter 9 of the City of Memphis Code of Ordinances, which seeks to add language banning discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Although the amendment to the non-discrimination ordinance (NDO) is limited in that it attempts to prevent discriminatory hiring and promotion practices only for those who work for the City of Memphis, businesses contracting with the City, or groups using City facilities, our local government must take this opportunity to stand up against the institutional bigotry that infects and divides our communities.

Unfortunately, legislation protecting the basic human rights of the LGBTQ community does not ensure actual equality any more than the decriminalization of LGBTQ relationships and families can ensure their safety and security. The irrational hatred and fear that is characterized by the opposition to the NDO is symptomatic of an unhealthy society; it will not be extinguished by extending job security to LGBTQ City employees, because bigotry is continually reinforced and validated by our economic system that is rooted in oppression, exploitation, and the monetary valuation of human worth. Workers are constantly pitted against each other in a battle for scarce jobs with low wages to do meaningless work that benefits only the capitalist class, who intentionally use race, gender, disability, religion and sexual orientation to maintain divisions between workers and perpetuate our alienation.

We can no longer afford to be complicit in our own exploitation. When we allow people to be stigmatized and discriminated against because of their sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity, we are legitimizing our own oppression while denying our own humanity. Reforms such as the proposed NDO will continue to be necessary under capitalism, and the Memphis Socialist Party stands in solidarity with the LGBTQ community in the struggle for liberation, lasting equality, and a society where all people can exercise their rights to learn, work, create and love.

The first reading of the NDO will be tomorrow, August 10, 3:30-6pm.

Location: 125 N. Main Street in the City Council Chambers (to your left after you pass through the metal detectors).

Tennessee Equality Project's Facebook Event Pages:

First Reading: Tuesday, August 10, 3:30-6pm
Second Reading: Tuesday, August 24, 3:30-6pm
Final Reading: Tuesday, September 14, 3:30-6pm

1 comment:


    The ordinance, which has passed the first vote, now only pertains to the City's employment practices.