Murfreesboro, TN- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Tennessee has settled a lawsuit ending what some have nicknamed the LGBTQ+ ordinance in Murfreesboro. The ACLU and others filed the lawsuit against the City of Murfreesboro over the ordinance that focused on "indecent behavior" in public, which included being openly gay in public.
In November of last year, the ordinance was amended to eliminate the ban on public homosexuality, but it was too little, too late, as the words within the ordinance had already hurt too many people. That so called LGBTQ+ ordinance and other local policy within the rules denied all special event permit requests from the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP), founder and host of the annual BoroPride Festival. This was, to say the least, problematic for a large number of people.
According to the ACLU, as part of the settlement the city has agreed to pay $500,000 to compensate for harm caused and reimburse attorneys’ fees, repeal the anti-LGBTQ+ ordinance, and accept and process any future event permit applications from TEP.
The ACLU adds City Manager Craig Tindall, who issued the ban on TEP permits last year, is prohibited under the terms from reviewing any future TEP permit requests.Below is a full release from the ACLU: American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Tennessee, Ballard Spahr, and Burr & Forman have settled a lawsuit filed against the City of Murfreesboro over its anti-LGBTQ+ ordinance and local policy denying all special event permit requests from the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP), founder and host of the annual BoroPride Festival.
- Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, ACLU, Ballard Spahr, and Burr & Forman issued the following joint statement: “The government has no right to censor LGBTQ+ people and expression. More important than the monetary recovery, this settlement sends a clear message that the city’s discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community was blatantly unconstitutional and that this type of behavior will no longer be tolerated here – or anywhere across the country.”