Adoption bill may move 'off the table' this legislative session

With the support of thousands of emails sent in by Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) members and other concerned citizens, a bill that would have banned unmarried, cohabiting couples (gay and straight) from adopting, has been referred to a summer adoption study committee by the bill's sponsor.

"TEP does not envision the bill coming up on another calendar for the remainder of the year," said TEP President Christopher Sanders. 

Sanders cautioned against early celebration saying "we should note that we will not know the status of this bill for sure until the final gavel falls on the 105th General Assembly next month.  But we see the developments today as good news."

"We are grateful especially to you, our members, and those who are on our allies’ email lists for contacting your senators and representatives on this bill and other legislation," Sanders said.

The bill (SB 3910), proposed by Sen. Paul Stanley (R-Germantown), carried with it a $7 million price tag per year. The Fiscal Note on the bill indicates that the state would see annual increased state expenditures of $4,548,500 and an increase in federal expenditures of $2,838,700.

“The stories of Tennessee families affected, the research that demonstrates gay and lesbian parents provide stable, loving homes, and now a financial cost that is simply too high for our state to bear during the budget crunch," Sanders added.

Another group that fought to prevent the bill from passing was the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC).

"Those "other concerned citizens" include members of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC)," wrote Marisa Richmond, president of the TTPC, in an email to Out & About Newspaper. "Tennessee's oldest statewide GLBT political advocacy organization, and the first statewide GLBT political advocacy organization to have a lobbyist in the Tennessee General Assembly."

Richmond is also the lobbyist for the group.

National Margarita Day

A lot of us have really picked up an interest in tequila and it's no wonder. Its popularity is soaring in the U.S. and doesn't look like it'll be slowing down any time soon. The only contender would probably be whiskey. Meh, but they have their own day. Now, it's National Margarita Day and we put together some of the best margarita recipes around so you can pick one or maybe even all of them to try.

We have a few surprises in there too. Maybe it's not all about tequila but it certainly has a theme going on. Take a look at some of these great tequila brands and start making some amazing margaritas today!

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Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Gender-Inclusive Universities and Student Privacy

For many students, attending university is a profound, often life-changing, transition. It is often the student’s first time living on their own without parental supervision. This lifestyle is also accompanied by a period of self-discovery, of defining and redefining a sense of personal identity largely independent of the influence of family and friends from home.

For students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community, this rite of passage can also be a deeply empowering one. Indeed, attending university may be the student’s first real opportunity to explore their gender identity in a safe, comfortable, and accepting college.

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José Cuervo's Reserva de la Familia agave fields

Disclaimer: My trip was provided courtesy of a press trip but all opinions about the trip and events are my own. Please note there are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase.

I had the opportunity to visit Mexico for an event José Cuervo was putting on, the unveiling of their premium tequila brand, Reserva de la Familia. The trip was all about tequila, how to drink it properly, how to pair it with food, and of course, visiting various points of interest in Guadalajara while tasting tequila along the way.

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