Tag Archives: gay

Chattanooga’s First Openly Gay City Council Candidate

Chris Anderson, a Chattanooga City Council candidate, publicly told the media Wednesday that he is gay, reports the Times-Free Press.
“I’m not really coming out because I’ve been open for years,” he said.
Anderson, the first openly gay candidate to run for elected office in Chattanooga history, said he wants his campaign to be transparent and he wants the contest set for March 2013 to be honest. Anderson is running against current City Councilman Manny Rico.
He said he expects some amount of backlash due to his sexual preference.
“I’m sure there will be people to use it as such,” he said. “But I think the voters are smart enough to see through that.”

On the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill, Mark Clayton and Sen. Campfield

The “don’t say gay” bill — which sponsor state Sen. Stacey Campfield prefers to call “don’t teach gay” — has emerged as a topic in reports about Mark Clayton, who won the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination only to be disavowed by the state Democratic Party.
Part of the disavowal is based on Clayton’s position as vice president of Public Advocate of the United States, described as an “anti-gay hate group” by state Democratic Chairman Chip Forrester.
Clayton actively supported Campfield’s bill, which passed the Senate in the last legislative session but died in the House. A Public Advocate newsletter distributed to legislators and the media in March of this year by Clayton features a front-page story on the issue under the headline, “Tennessee Legislature Rejects Californication” and with a picture of Campfield, R-Knoxville.
The story begins: “Tennessee is on the verge of becoming the first state in America to outlaw the California method of pro-homosexual education.”
Public Advocate President Eugene Delgaudio is quoted as declaring, “Public Advocate and its supporters were instrumental in supporting Sen. Campfield and forcing the rest of the Senate to pass the Classroom Protection Act.” (Note: PDF of the newspaper at this link: publicadvocate.pdf )
Campfield said he doesn’t remember meeting Clayton personally, but does recall talking with him over the phone and welcomed his support for the legislation.
“I was glad to see somebody in the Democratic Party standing up for traditional family values again,” Campfield said. “It’s good to see they have a few.”
Asked if he would consider voting for Clayton over Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, Campfield declined to give a direct answer, saying, “I think they’re both good people.”
“I always vote for the most conservative person,” Campfield said.
So, of the two, who is most conservative?
“I think it should be abundantly clear,” the senator said without elaborating

Update Note: The Sen. elaborates, a little bit, in a blog post.

Registry Dismisses 2011 Complaint Against Campfield

The Registry of Election Finance has dismissed a 2011 complaint filed against state Sen. Stacey Campfield based on a Texas-based movie producer reporting that the Knoxville Republican solicited a $1,000 “retainer” for a proposed debate appearance.
Del Shores, whose films have involved homosexuality, had contacted Campfield with the idea of having a debate in California on the “don’t say gay” bill that the senator was sponsoring at the time. State law prohibits legislators from taking an honorarium related to their lawmaking duties and Shores said Campfield asked for $1,000 in advance.
In dismissing the complaint, the registry noted that no exchange of money ever took place, according to The Tennessee Journal. Campfield said he wanted to be sure his expenses would be paid if he made a trip to California. The debate never took place.

Judge Leaves State Discrimination Law Intact; Plaintiffs Appealing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An attorney for plaintiffs who have filed a lawsuit challenging a state law that overruled local protections for gay and lesbian workers said Wednesday that she will appeal a judge’s decision to dismiss the suit.
The Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act prohibits local governments from creating anti-discrimination regulations that are stricter than those of the state. The law nullified a Nashville ordinance that barred companies that discriminate against gays and lesbians from doing business with the city.
Plaintiffs claim the law is unconstitutional for several reasons, including stripping them of previous legal protections.
But Davidson County Chancellor Carol McCoy said last week that the plaintiffs did not satisfy standing requirements and ordered the lawsuit dismissed.
“The Court finds no justificable question is before it in this matter in that none of the plaintiff’s had standing,” she wrote.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Abby Rubenfeld said she believes the judge ignored certain arguments raised in the lawsuit and she plans to appeal.
For instance, Rubenfeld said one part of the statute “gratuitously redefines ‘sex’ for purposes of anti-discrimination laws so as to exclude all transgender persons.”
“She just flat out ignored it, although we briefed it and argued it,” Rubenfeld said.
Among the lawsuit’s plaintiffs is Lisa Howe, a former Belmont University soccer coach whose departure from the private Christian university was the impetus for the city’s ordinance.

Haslam, Ramsey Disagree With President on Same Sex Marriage

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says he disagrees with President Barack Obama’s new stance in support of same-sex marriage, reports Andy Sher.
“I’ve said before, that’s not my view on the issue,” Haslam said. “I think it seems like the president has changed over a period of time. It’s his right to do so, but that’s not a position I’m in favor of.”
Republican state Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey agreed, recalling a Senate floor debate on the issue in which one lawmaker argued “a circle is a circle and a square is a square and no matter what you do, you can’t make a circle a square.”
Marriage, Ramsey said, “is between one man and one woman, period. You can call it something else, but it’s not marriage. I disagree with the president on this.”

On Obama and Gay Marriage: TN Question Raised and Answered

From the Tennessee Republican Party:
NASHVILLE, TN – Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney released the following statement on President Obama’s gay marriage decision –
“After playing politics for years with the issue of same-sex marriage, President Obama has finally made his true position known. The majority of Tennesseans do not support the president on this issue and I’m curious if Tennessee Democrats will stand by their president on this one.”

From the Park Overall for Senate campaign:
Greeneville, Tenn. — Park Overall, an environmental advocate and actress running for U.S. Senate, issued the following statement in support of President Barack Obama’s views on marriage equality: 
“The 14th Amendment calls for equal rights under the law. I can’t imagine how the fear of same-sex couples has trumped the Constitution for this long. As for President Obama saying he’s for gay marriage, all I can say is, hallelujah and what took so long? For committed, loving couples to be denied the rights of heterosexual couples is prejudicial. I am thrilled my President has taken this highly evolved stance and continues to push the rock uphill. May we continue to strive for the rights of all men and women.”

Actress Candidate Has a New Movie Out

While mulling over her political ambitions a year ago, Park Overall, the Greeneville, Tenn., resident who’s now challenging Bob Corker for his seat in the United States Senate, got an offer to do the independent film “In The Family.” She tells the News Sentinel the role was exactly the sort of project she’s always wanted to do.
“This one is special,” she says. “This is the best movie I could ever hope to be in. This is the kind of movie I dreamed of going to Hollywood and making.”
“Family” casts Overall as the mother whose gay son has died, leaving a complex legal issue involving his underage son, the late son’s partner and the late son’s sister. The sister and partner both want custody of the boy.
…Mulling over whether actors make for good politicians, Overall says the two share “an affinity for performance as well as language,” allowing them to communicate their agendas easier to the public.
And her profile as a network star — albeit from 15 years ago — helped. “The TV history gives me a head start,” she says. “Sad, but true.”
Her basic platform, from this early part of her campaign, leans toward helping the disenfranchised and the environment. She is also pro-union and pro-gay.
One of her biggest hurdles will be the primary in August.
A registered Democrat, Overall prefers to call herself “progressive” and admits her official political affiliation might not sit well in conservative, Republican-heavy East Tennessee.

‘Don’t Say Gay Bill’ To Die With Adjournment of 107th

The so-called “Don’t Say Gay bill,” which perhaps brought more national attention for the Tennessee Legislature than any other piece of legislation, will not be put to a final vote needed for passage, the measure’s House sponsor said Sunday.
The decision by Rep. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, means that SB49 will die with the adjournment of the 107th General Assembly. Legislative leaders hope that will be today.
Hensley said the officials of the Department of Education and the state Board of Education have pledged to send a letter to all Tennessee schools “telling them they cannot teach this subject in grades kindergarten through eight.”
“With that assurance and the opposition of some people who didn’t want to vote on it, I’ve decided simply not to bring it up,” said Hensley.
The bill passed the Senate last year and recently won approval in modified form from the House Education Committee on an 8-7 vote. It needed only the approval of the Calendar Committee, usually a routine matter, to be set for a floor vote.
Hensley said nickname the bill received “really wasn’t what the bill was all about” and contributed to unease of some legislators in voting on the measure. He said the bill could be re-filed next year if there is any indication of “alternate lifestyles” being prompted in Tennessee schools despite the pending letter.
The operative language of the amended version says that in grades K-8 any such classroom instruction, course materials or other informational resources that are inconsistent with natural human reproduction shall be classified as inappropriate for the intended student audience and, therefore, shall be prohibited.”

Today’s Newspaper Columnist Opinions on Legislative Doings

Sanford on Gunfights
Otis Sanford envisions a college course on Legislative Politics 101 — “the fine art of grandstanding and hubris by duly elected legislators” — with a lecture theme on the current gun bill standoff.
Kerr on Guns, Don’t Say Gay
Opening line of Gail Kerr’s Sunday column: If the 2012 Tennessee legislative session were a horror movie, it would be called The Things That Wouldn’t Die. Two bad proposed laws — the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and the “guns in trunks” legislation — continue to head toward floor votes despite widespread opposition.
Thomas on GOP Going After Democrats
From Wendi C. Thomas’ Sunday column: Today’s gripe concerns a trio of bills championed by Republican legislators. Taken individually, they seem well-intentioned. But look more closely and you’ll see that these the bills are part of a pattern to beat back marginalized constituencies, who, not coincidentally, tend to vote Democrat.

House Commitee Approves ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal that would ban the teaching of gay issues to elementary and middle school students is once again advancing in the House.
The measure, known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, passed the House Education Committee 8-7 on Tuesday. The proposal failed on a voice vote but passed on a roll call vote.
The legislation limits sexually related instruction to “natural human reproduction science” in kindergarten through eighth grade. The proposal had been put aside for a measure that would require “family life education” curricula taught in schools to be abstinence-centered.
But Hohenwald Republican Rep. Joey Hensley said he decided to move his bill again after he said a survey of his district showed “well over 95 percent … don’t want homosexuality discussed in those grade levels.”
The companion bill passed the Senate last year.