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The Obnoxious, Unrepentant Anti-Gay Bigotry Of Tennessee Rep. John Ragan

by Scott Rose on January 29, 2012

in Bigotry Watch,Civil Rights,Discrimination,Don't Ask Don't Tell,Human Rights,News,Scott Rose

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As recently reported, Tennessee State Representative John Ragan has been making counter-factual claims about gay human beings.

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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unforgivenjimi January 29, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Someone needs to hand this man, and all others making the same statements a copy of the following book.

He needs a lesson in history to learn the original definition of a "homosexual"

AmericanFellows January 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm

the haters are back to calling us homosexuals again. they can't even use the term gay that everyone else has used in the recent past because that would be them giving us the respect of being called a name with which we are comfortable being known as. there is a sick core of hate in the Republican party, i'm sure it's that same core of hate which the clintons labeled as a vast right wing conspiracy. if we could ever find that core network, we'd be on much better footing to deal with them. this is a pattern of hate that began in prewar nazi germany. if it is not stopped, it can only grow worse and culminate in the vicious haters in the Republican party some day soon killing us and shooting at us. if you don't believe that, just look at the rowdiness of the crowds which attend their meetings to listen to hate speech like this. plus, they are all 2nd amendment to the extreme, meaning they are well armed. i honestly believe that they can and will if given the opportunity kill us. oh, it will be in the name of Christ, though, since they are all "christian" as it were

macdonaldbank1 January 29, 2012 at 10:18 pm

The Republican Party have become the party of hate and bigotry against gays — when human rights should be their mantra. Being black; left-handed or being gay is just as natural! The Republican Party is being manipulated by extreme religious wackos — who are destroying the integrity and compassion of the United States. Kids are being bullied and committing suicide while the adults are basing their hateful beliefs on a fictional character! Insanity has overcome the United States!

macdonaldbank1 January 29, 2012 at 10:19 pm

The evil writings in Leviticus 18:22 against gays depict; rules for temple rituals or “P” … Priestly Rules & expanded by the pope; homophobes and religious frauds to attack the gay community and never meant to apply to the public but to priests. Leviticus exists in the old testament & torah & were written long after Moses; 600BC. Being left-handed or being gay is just as natural. Bibles and the torah which includes leviticus 18:22 should be immediately banned for promoting hatred against minorities; namely the gay community and the crosses removed from all schools and churches.

"It is written; so therefore it shall be? We are the chosen people? Such a wicked fantasy." To see the religious lunatics manipulate government and our lives is shameful.

There is no scientific evidence to prove any of the cross related bogus elements of christianity. Man goes back 6,000,000 years; 5,996,000 years before the Greeks, Romans and the Jews and 5,998,000 years pre-dating the myth of christianity which is a mere 2012 year old cult.

In the year 325 AD; Emperor Constantine — who to some was the first pope; went on to fabricate & market Christianity with the creative historian Eusebius; a fiction which turned out to be one of the most hateful & evil concoctions ever perpetrated on the world.

Einstein stated in a letter recently auctioned that the bible was a collection of primitive legends. He said believing in God was childish and he as a Jew is no different than another person and not chosen by God. Many theologians state quite correctly that the birth; crucifixion; resurrection and other elements of christianity actually didn’t even happen!

It is a sometimes rare occurrence to fall in Love and to hold that person in your heart and be loved in return … it is something that should be celebrated! If it is between two guys or girls all the better. It takes even more courage to defend that LOVE!

How would you like it … if hate speech was directed to your brother or sister as you sat in the pew; spewed by some better than thou religious lunatic with a hateful black book about Leviticus — under his arm?

The pope and churches fully aware that Leviticus 18:22 applies only to priests; refuse to remove this stigma maliciously persecuting gays – and many kids bullied into suicide …!

psuedok January 30, 2012 at 4:39 am

This guy is soooo clueless.

Badge Society LGBT Forum

BarbNeligan January 30, 2012 at 9:46 am

Okay, John Ragan. I'll play your little logic game if, "Feelings do not control the behavior of a mentally healthy adult human being,” Newt Gingrich is not a mentally healthy adult human being.

david0296 January 30, 2012 at 9:56 am

I'd call this guy an ignorant inbred hick, but I don't want to insult actual inbred hicks.

"Feelings do not control the behavior of a mentally healthy adult human being." — Yeah, that's quite possibly one of the dumbest statements in the history of dumb statements. Mr. Ragan clearly doesn't qualify as one of his "mentally healthy adult human beings". That we can all agree upon.

cmsvmom January 30, 2012 at 10:29 am

I wonder if he discounts "feelings" without action because he actually has them. Sort of like my ex husband, who "felt" like looking at gay porn, hanging out with gay guys…but claims to never have acted on it. And whether he did "act" or not is irrelevant. Those "feelings" destroyed our marriage, along with his insistance that all men have them and they didnt matter.

It mattered to ME.

Honestly as the ex wife of a deeply closeted gay bi whatever man, “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. Feelings do not control the behavior of a mentally healthy adult human being.” sounds so….well…gay….because that is the type of crap that closeted gay husbands often say to their wives when caught.

human1st January 30, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Generally those who are this anti-homosexual have their own unresolved issues. Reverend Jim Swaggart comes to mind. I'm sorry that your husband destroyed your marriage with his feelings and actions. This is part of the bigger issue though. If he grew up in a society that accepted him for who and what he was he may have taken a different route and followed his heart rather than what was expected. I am speculating here and taking liberties without any knowledge of what happened. But if that was true, you both might be happy with someone else right now instead of picking up the pieces.

cmsvmom January 30, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I've often wondered about that. We were in NYC, we had many gay and pro gay friends, we were in a liberal church. He is still in denial. Our son has married the heterosexual daughter of a lesbian couple. He is still in denial. He's just not like those people….

its true that many of the women I have met in the straight spouse network have husbands who come from conservative religious or family backgrounds, but not here. My ex's parents were educated and fairly socially liberal republicans.

It really is a much more complicated question that just what society allows. However, if society were more open in general, it would be more difficult for people like my ex to hide from others and from themselves.

human1st January 30, 2012 at 12:03 pm

If 'feelings do not control the behavior of a mentally healthy adult human being' it begs the question, "What is controlling Rep. John Ragan's bigotry and obnoxious behavior on homosexuality?" With his documented history, he obviously has some pretty strong "feelings" on the subject.

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