This reporter e-mailed Representative Ragan, asking him to provide documentation for the veracity of his anti-gay hate speech allegations.
Instead of providing any, Ragan smugly went on the offensive, claiming that apropos of gay human beings and their health, he had “merely asked impersonal questions based upon the tenants of critical thought.” He fatuously added, “If you are, or anyone else is, uncomfortable with the answers at which you, or they arrive, that is not my problem.”
Meanwhile back in documented reality, Representative Ragan had not “merely asked impersonal questions.” He had made fraudulent assertions about some very fundamental issues related to sexual orientation. For example, he had written, ” Logically, homosexuality is defined by behavior, i.e., unless one engages in sexual activity with a member of the same sex, he, or she, is not a homosexual. (The term sexual orientation is a description of feelings.) Feelings do not control the behavior of a mentally healthy adult human being.”
One could perhaps wonder what a psychiatrist or psychologist would make of Ragan’s dubious assertion. If, as he claims, “feelings do not control the behavior of a mentally healthy adult human being,” are we to understand that when a mentally healthy heterosexual woman and a mentally healthy heterosexual man decide to make love, their feelings are not controlling their behavior?
Not to put too fine a point on it, Representative Ragan appears to be not only a bigot but also a ludicrous jackass. The Tennessee Department of Health said in a phone interview that its STD prevention and control efforts are focused broadly on preventing and controlling infections and are not aimed exclusively at any one demographic. The Tennessee Department of Health, furthermore, provided a link to the STD prevention section of its website. That section contains a link to a Centers for Disease Control page about “Stimga and Discrimination” and how they contribute to poor health outcomes for gay human beings.
The evidence is plain and direct; In speaking to the public about the health of gay human beings, Tennessee State Representative John Ragan is promulgating lies — anti-gay hate speech — that flies in the face of public health information used by — and given out to journalists by — the Tennessee State Department of Health.
This recent incident is hardly the first time that John Ragan has aggressively promoted anti-gay hate speech in his capacity as a State Representative. He believes that despite the repeal of DADT and the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, gay people should not be allowed to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. And, whereas Representative Ragan likes to boast on his C.V. that he has served as a business consultant to companies on the Fortune 100 list, all companies on that list have policies against discriminating against gay people. That is to say, Representative Ragan is against providing protections to Tennessee’s gay public school students that the major businesses with which he claims to have consulted all offer to their gay employees.
Certain other aspects of Representative Ragan’s thoughts and behavior are of note. He co-sponsored a birther bill. He thinks people should be able to purchase weapons at gun shows without submitting to any background check. And he is against all public school sex education that is not “abstinence only.” The issues section of his own website references “Recognizing the imporant (sic) sacrifice of our nation’s veterans,” its typo suggesting that Representative Ragan is less than a thorough-going, painstaking professional.
Ragan was elected to office for a first time in 2010, 8,569 votes to 7,270. Very evidently, he has not previously understood that reporters will fact-check his public statements and then let the public know when he is telling lies. He even appears to have thought that he could bully a reporter out of understanding and reporting that his lies are — indeed — lies.
Shame on him.
New York City– based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT– interest by– line has appeared on Advocate .com, PoliticusUSA .com, The New York Blade, Queerty .com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.
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