Memphis City Councilwoman Janis Fullilove has received at least four death threats after sponsoring an LGBT non-discrimination bill to cover municipal employees. Someone also threw a dead cat on her front lawn, reports WREG.
''Police think the threats are serious enough have increased patrols around her home to keep her safe. All four calls came Tuesday and each call mentioned the proposed employee non-discrimination ordinance. Someone also threw a dead cat on her lawn. Each phone call mentioned her support for banning discrimination against gays in city government. Distraught, Fullilove reached out to Jonathan Cole with the Tennessee Equality Project. 'She essentially said that they were threatening to kill her,' said Cole, who thinks the death threats are just another example of intolerance in Memphis. 'It's scary and our city needs to stand up to this kind of ugliness.' Police are keeping a close eye on Fullilove and her family. She's asked her telephone provider to track the calls.
The councilmember says the death threats will not sway her support and demonstrate why the bill is needed for LGBT employees. The measure is scheduled for an August 10 vote.
According to her bio, Commissioner Fulliove was a high school student civil rights activist in the 1960s, participated in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's sanitation marches and was once shot by police officers. Fullilove—love that name, right?—is keeping the dream alive.
Several proposed anti-discrimination bills have languished in Memphis and Shelby County in recent years. A countywide, non-discrimination ordinance was introduced by the Shelby County Commission earlier this year ... but the version eventually passed "didn't mention gays or any other protected group,' reports the Commercial Appeal.
Send your support to Janis.Fullilove@memphistn.gov.
Watch a news report WHEN YOU JUMP ...