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  • Hundreds Of Same-Sex Marriage Supporters Shut Down County Commission Meeting Over Anti-Gay Proposal

    Commissioners Postpone Critical Business After Pointless Anti-Gay Resolution Leads to Overflow Crowd

    Commissioners in Washington County, Tennessee had plenty of substantive issues to address during their regular meeting on Monday night, from road funding to redistricting and redevelopment. In fact, their agenda was 600 pages long, and some of the items were described as urgent. 

    However, thanks to a proposed resolution against same-sex marriage on the agenda that would have no legal impact, commissioners were forced to postpone the meeting for at least 10 days. That's because an estimated 350 people showed up, with many wearing red in opposition to the anti-gay marriage resolution. The 200-seat meeting room was filled to capacity, with 150 to 200 people still in the lobby, prompting commissioners to cancel the meeting to comply with the state's Open Meetings Act. 


    "Never before have I seen the interest in an item, in a topic that we see here," Commissioner David Tomita told WCYB-TV. "I think we had some items on the agenda that required immediate attention. I'm sorry that we're not attending to the business of the county but I think it's more important that we make accommodations to anyone who wants to participate in the process to have access."

    Washington County, situated in the northeast corner of the state with a population of 123,000, would have been the ninth in Tennessee to pass a resolution calling on Tennessee to defy the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. However, the legislation the resolutions are designed to support — state Rep. Mark Pody's "Natural Marriage Defense Act" — was rejected by a legislative committee last week. 

    LOOK: Students Wear 'Straight Pride' Signs In Tennessee High School After Gay-Straight Alliance Formed

    Even Washington County residents who support the anti-gay resolution were frustrated that it led to Monday's meeting being canceled. 

    "We’re allowing a minor issue that has nothing to do with the county or state to interfere with important business," Jeff Dupre told The Johnson City Press

    Highway superintendent Johnny Deakins said cancellation of the meeting could hurt the county's chances of obtaining $1.2 million in road funding from the state. Deakins had hoped to get the commission to sign a letter in support of state legislation needed to allocate the money. 

    "Anytime you’ve got the County Commission backing the effort, it’s better than doing it alone," Deakins told the newspaper. 

    Washington County Mayor Dan Eldridge lamented that developers from as far away as Knoxville were at the meeting to discuss projects in Johnson City.

    Opponents of the marriage resolution, especially those who were stuck in the lobby, said they were pleased with the decision to cancel the meeting. 

    "Obviously our community has strong feelings on this and we need to have a public forum where people can come and voice their opinions," Jon Tully told WCYB. 

    Commissioner Forrest Boreing, sponsor of the anti-gay resolution, told the station he was proud to stand up for what he believes as a Christian. 

    Elsewhere, commissioners in Tennessee's Hawkins and Hickman counties approved resolutions opposing same-sex marriage on Monday. In Hawkins County, the vote was 13-3, with commissioners who opposed the resolution calling it divisive and saying it violates their oath to uphold the Constitution, according to The Times News. But Commissioner B.D. Cradic, sponsor of the resolution, told his colleagues they're governed by a higher power and would be held accountable by God for their votes. 

    “God, he loves everybody. I love everybody as well. But there’s certain things in the Bible that goes against nature itself," Cradic said. “They have turned the law of the land into all kinds of different things contrary to the word of God. Based on that my oath first of all is to serve God.”

    Hawkins County resident Jody Erwin, who spoke against the resolution, told commissioners that the group behind it — the Family Action Council of Tennessee — doesn't represent all Christians. 

    “I’m here today to express my horror at a group using religious indignation to suppress this small minority,” Erwin said. “If they had come before you first with a resolution condemning divorce, a subject that’s well covered in the Bible, and a real threat to over half of all marriages, I might believe that they are trying to uphold the sanctity of marriage. Since this is not the case, I must conclude it’s homophobic hysteria, which makes them the problem.”

    Watch a report on the Washington County meeting from WJHL-TV above. 



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    • commented 2016-07-08 21:56:12 -0400
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    • commented 2016-01-28 23:08:50 -0500
      That’s twice now that you’ve said I’m right, Joe. I appreciate the acknowledgement. Hopefully, you’ll soon see the light on the other differences we seem to have.

      But, you went incoherent on me with your “same sex marriage as a women’s rights issue”,

      I am a male, married to another male. There are no women nor their rights involved in our marriage.. Nor does my marriage infringe on their rights.

      And the subsequent words, “supporting for women, opposing for men” only further confused me. What do those 6 words even mean, and how does whatever it’s supposed to mean manifest itself in SSMs?

      Re: “Is there any nontraditional form of marriage that you approve of other than same- sex?”

      Here, again, I disagree with your premise. There’s a fair bit of historical scholarship that shows that SSMs were performed in pre-modern Europe, some even within the walls of the Catholic Church – google Saints Sergius and Bacchus for starters. There’s also a fair bit known about SSMs in Native American Indian Tribes that has been happening for more than a century. This was even referenced as far back as the movie “Little Big Man” and that came out in the 1970s I think, so the information is not new.). My church has been performing same-sex unions since 1968. How long must a tradition exist before it is acknowledged? Or make it ‘legitimate’? (To be blunt, your traditions don’t trump mine.)

      I’ll grant you they were never the ‘norm’, but they’re not unheard of. Besides, there are many traditions. Biblically, polygamy was quite common, but then, women were, legally, “chattel” – they could be bought and sold at whim. Which reduced marriage to a business transaction between 2 men. (As in, “A pig and two goats for your daughter, sir?”) Ever heard of ‘dowries’?

      Also, I’m not “against” polygamy personally, but I sure can understand why the State might be. But, as I keep saying, it’s simply not the topic here, so I rarely waste time writing about it.

      I wish my ‘opponents’ would give up because I’m fighting for Constitutionally-promised equal treatment. That’s why I’ll never give up. How other people’s marriages even concern you, let alone affect you, is a mystery, so why you want to deny me/us that equality is likewise a mystery. I have no idea why you’re standing in the way of it. It just doesn’t make any sense to me, since you aren’t being require to HAVE one … for yourself.

      Finally, yes, you have on more than one occasion “inaccurately surmised” a couple of my positions, so your acknowledgement is appreciated and your apology is accepted.

    • commented 2016-01-28 20:08:15 -0500
      One more question- You’re not surrendering-. What would make you think your opponents would.?

    • commented 2016-01-28 17:47:16 -0500
      You’re right about the Christian hair- splitting George. I find the distinction between action and orientation dubious myself. I also would call my view much broader than yours- recognizing same sex marriage as a women’s rights issue, supporting for women, opposing for men.. I also support multiple partner marriage and oppose divorce. I can;t claim that a lot of folks share my perspective. That’s often true for the independent thinker that doesn’t follow some crowd. If I ever get a following, the first thing they’ll do is name it. The second thing they’ll do is get something backwards and screw it up.. I appreciate your relative brevity, George, compared to James’ reactionary ramblings. if I inaccurately surmised any of your positions, I apologize. But one question- Is there any nontraditional form of marriage that you approve of other than same- sex?

    • commented 2016-01-28 16:55:04 -0500
      Re: “But then he (George) suggests that it is justified to attempt to compel religious people to accept things like sexual orientation which their doctrines classify as sinful.”

      I’ve never said anything about other people’s beliefs apart from that they are perfectly welcome to them, Joe. Please don’t bear false witness against me. It’s a sin.

      (Besides, the ‘christians’ keep telling me only same-sex sexual activity is the “sin”, not “sexual orientation”.)

      Frankly, I don’t give a toss if they “accept” … me (let alone “compel” them to), my orientation, of my marriage. What I want is for them to get the heck out of the way of some citizens receiving their Constitutionally-promised equal protections of the secular, civil law. They’re perfectly welcome to their religion-induced prejudices, but they’re neither welcomed (nor legally allowed) to discriminate in the secular, civil square BECAUSE of their prejudices.

      You should have stopped after, “George does make one valid point-0 that it would be wrong to compel a person to form a marriage of any sort.” Adding the lie that I “compel” anyone to do or believe anything didn’t help your ‘argument’.

      See my reply to James regarding why “multiple partner marriages” are not equal.

      Odd that you insist I respect you and your beliefs and statements, but you make stuff up about me and lie abut me. That’s not respectful, Joe. Please stop.

      Thanks in advance.

    • commented 2016-01-28 16:45:33 -0500
      James, multiple-spouse marriage is not “equal” because no one is allowed more than one (at a time, N.B. Newt Gingrich, et al), be they heterosexual or homosexual. Joe knows this, but lacks the integrity to admit it.

    • commented 2016-01-28 16:15:16 -0500
      “He specifically excludes multiple partner marriages from equality, and probably every other type of niontraditional marrisge except for his pet, the same sex marriage.. It’s a pretty narrow view and not very logically consistent.” Well if George’s view can be called narrow, what you would you call your view? Progressive and liberal? Oh shut up. Since equality is obviously not your concern and in fact you’re aggressively opposed to it, you have no right to even bring it up.

    • commented 2016-01-28 16:04:40 -0500
      As a side note. ALL George’s points are valid. Yours on the other hand are rooted in the completely false claim that you’re being compelled to have gay sex or marry one of your bar buddies. Where is that coming from??

    • commented 2016-01-28 16:02:45 -0500
      “George is highly experienced and has fallen into the overconfidence trap, where he looks only at his unsupported statistics and puts his head deep in the sand about the real world.” This IS the real world, Joe. You’re the one fighting it.. But on the off change that he’s wrong and you’re right, George is working to change it, and good for him.

      And what the hell is this nonsense? I quote: “But then he (George) suggests that it is justified to attempt to compel religious people to accept things like sexual orientation which their doctrines classify as sinful.” There is no legislation that compels anyone to accept anything other than leaving people alone to live their own lives. No one is compelling anyone to marry or to have sexual relationships. If you can claim you’re being compelled to accept homosexuality, then certainly I can claim I’m being compelled to accept religion in general and Christianity in particular, something that I regard as strictly mythology and silly mythology at that. I’m not though. I can ignore it if I want to, just like you ignore Wicca or Buddhism…or other people’s marriages.. Get out of everyone’s live, Joe. You’re not welcome there. And your attempts at reason and logic are as ridiculous as your claims of “compulsion”. Nobody cares if you get in a straight marriage, a gay marriage, or no marriage at all.

    • commented 2016-01-28 12:51:28 -0500
      George does make one valid point-0 that it would be wrong to compel a person to form a marriage of any sort. But then he suggests that it is justified to attempt to compel religious people to accept things like sexual orientation which their doctrines classify as sinful.. He also claims to support something called marriage equality, but only for some people. He specifically excludes multiple partner marriages from equality, and probably every other type of niontraditional marrisge except for his pet, the same sex marriage.. It’s a pretty narrow view and not very logically consistent.

    • commented 2016-01-28 11:25:50 -0500
      So George knows it all, has his approved list and disapproved list for marriage, whether its a right or a privilege, and has no interest in the concerns of anyone else. Thank you for sharing your prejudices with us, George. It has been enlightening as to the workings of your closed mind.

    • commented 2016-01-28 10:59:11 -0500
      You sure love that term"brownshirts", Joe.

      Too bad you ignore that no one is being forced to have a same-sex marriage against their will. Now THAT would indeed be ‘brownshirting’.

      And, until the mis-named ‘Defense’ of Marriage Act was overturned, until Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was overturned, and until both the Windsor and the Obergefell cases, the law did NOT “serve ALL the people” equally, despite your pathetic wish that it would only ‘serve’ YOUR favorites (heterosexuals).

      My statistics are NOT "unsupported, either. Heck, even YOU could look them up.

      And, I do live in the real world. It just now happens to include LGBTQ folks, equally under the secular, civil law.

      Obviously, I continue to combat ignorami. And, it’s so easy to, because of unsubstantiated claims your side makes, not to mention the snide Nazi references.

    • commented 2016-01-28 10:37:41 -0500
      We do see how George attempts to justify the tactics of the brownshirts in red by suggesting that the issue is settled. But no issue is settled until the next case comes to court. And hen there’s the one after that. The law serves ALL the people, not just Georges favorites.

    • commented 2016-01-28 10:30:24 -0500
      George is highly experienced and has fallen into the overconfidence trap, where he looks only at his unsupported statistics and puts his head deep in the sand about the real world. He was on the forefront perhaps, a dozen or so years ago. But the world has moved on and he hasn’t. Sorry, George, but you have become the old guard establishment.

    • commented 2016-01-28 09:44:07 -0500

      Your “actual statistics” are unsupported. I’ve worked on this issue for more than 14 years, alongside as many women as men (and in 2 countries), and I’ve never before heard your “statistic”.

      If you have to make st=tuff up out of thin air, you should not expect to be believed OR to change people’s minds.

    • commented 2016-01-28 09:41:14 -0500

      Those “other people” are perfectly free not to have a same-sex marriage. No one is forcing them into one.

      And, of course, we already KNOW how it WORKED out (past tense, since it’s in the past) – the SC ruled that, per the 14th Amendment, NO State can deprive ANY citizen of the equal protections of the law.

      And, of course you are also wrong when you say, “There are more of them than there are of you.” 63% of people agree with us, not you. You need a remedial math class.

    • commented 2016-01-27 13:17:18 -0500
      You guys want it you r way. Other folks want it their way. There are more of them than there are of you. How do you think thats going to work out?

    • commented 2016-01-27 13:00:51 -0500
      Some actual statistics- where same sex marriage is legal, over 6 times more women than men form these marriages, supporting the position that marriage is actually a women’s rights issue with no corresponding right for men.

    • commented 2016-01-27 12:54:08 -0500
      Re: “If you want to allow marriage between children and turtles in your community…”

      You say idiotic things like this and then wonder why you are not believed. And you wonder why you lost in 78+ courts all across the nation.

      Either come up with a legal,rational argument as to why 2 consenting adult HUMANS should not be allowed to marry or begone. You’re not adding anything to the debate but ludicrous nonsensical musings, un-founded in any observable reality,.

    • commented 2016-01-27 12:50:32 -0500
      Re: “Local marriage laws or marriages are incapable of causing harm.”

      Nonsense. They observably DO when the exclude SOME citizens from t heir Constitutionally-promised EQUAL protections o the law.

    • commented 2016-01-27 12:49:42 -0500
      If you want to allow marriage between children and turtles in your community, You try to promote it in my community, the only reason you’ll still have tires is that we want you to drive away and not come back.

    • commented 2016-01-27 12:49:06 -0500
      Re: “Good luck finding many like- minded folks.”

      63% … and growing.

      (Not that human and civil rights should ever be subjected to popularity contests.)

    • commented 2016-01-27 12:43:11 -0500
      Re: “I gotta hand it to you guys- you are indeed ruthless.”

      Nope. Just better armed with Constitutional legal arguments.

      Try one sometime. You might like it, Joe.

    • commented 2016-01-27 12:40:54 -0500
      Re: "So George wants to impose his views on marriage on the redst [sic] of the world:

      My “view” coincides with both the secular, civil law in America, and the Constitution that supports it.

      YOURS, otoh, do not.

    • commented 2016-01-27 12:38:34 -0500
      Local marriage laws or marriages are incapable of causing harm. The harm is caused by an outsider attempting to impose their views on the community.

    • commented 2016-01-27 12:31:34 -0500
      How the heck are you a victim? What was this legislation. Show me on the doll where anyone else’s marriage – gay or straight – hurt you.

    • commented 2016-01-27 12:30:14 -0500
      “So Joe wants to impose his views on marriage on the redst of the world” lol the tables are turned on you so easily.

    • commented 2016-01-27 12:29:05 -0500
      “So George wants to impose his views on marriage on the rest of the world” No legislation has been proposed to ban straight marriage. No legislation has been proposed to force anyone into a same-sex marriage. No legislation has been proposed to force you to even go to the wedding. If you don’t want a same sex marriage, don’t marry your poker buddy. The imposition of marriage views, inflicted solely on the gay population, clearly rests with you.

    • commented 2016-01-27 12:27:38 -0500
      I gotta hand it to you guys- you are indeed ruthless.

    • commented 2016-01-27 12:24:00 -0500
      And here we have James using the blame the victim rationale

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