Activists File Lawsuit Challenging TN Counseling Law
Two gay rights activists are challenging Tennessee's recently passed law, which allows mental health providers to reject services due to religious believes. These activists find the law absurd, discriminatory, and unconstitutional. This bill is not your typical "religious freedom� bill, violates the code of ethics of all major counseling associations, and the most anti-lgbt leaders are behind. This law violates the United States and Tennessee Constitution and that is why we are taking them to court.
You may find a bio and quote from each plaintiff and counsel below -
Caleb Laieski, Plaintiff: Mr. Laieski lives in Washington, D.C., and is a national advocate for the LGBT community. Laieski is a former 911 Dispatcher and recently sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over their lifetime ban on gays from donating blood. Laieski was bullied and took on Congress at the age of 16, which resulted in him being recognized by President Obama.
"The goal is to send a clear message to Tennessee that discrimination will not be tolerated, especially when it jeopardizes folks seeking mental health services.� - Caleb Laieski
Bleu Copas, Plaintiff: Mr. Copas is a Tennessee native and resident, LGBT activist, and holds a Master's in Counseling. Mr. Compas served as a Sergeant in the Army when discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell,� which thrusted him into the local, state, and national LGBT world of activism. Mr. Copas's efforts have landed him on the cover of Instinct Magazine and honored by several national organizations.
"This kind of discrimination sends a message to an already marginalized group of Tennesseans. Beyond the blatant and subliminal ethic code violations, this type of legislation creates barriers at a time when building trust is paramount" - Bleu Copas
Keith Edmiston, Counsel: Mr. Edmiston is Counsel for the Plaintiff's and works at Edmiston Foster out of Knoxville. Mr. Edmiston has prosecuted and defended over 50 cases and multi-million dollar civil rights cases. Mr. Edmiston has taken on this case to fight for what the citizens of Tennessee deserve.
"This statute is one of the many anti-LGBT state statutes that are being passed in our country lately. We intend to put a stop to them and will fight with all we have to do so.� - Keith Edmiston
Mr. Copas - BleuCopas@yahoo.com
Mr. Edmiston - Keith.Edmiston@edmistonfoster.com
Mr. Laieski - Caleb@CalebLaieski.com
More on the bill: http://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/04/12/what-media-need-know-about-tennessee-s-new-anti-lgbt-bill/209882
Breaking by the Associated Press: