During this first week of the Sochi Olympics, much of the world has been discussing the oppressive anti-gay laws in Russia. Hear in Tennessee, we have an oppressive gay bill making the rounds by Memphis’ one and only Sen. Brian Kelsey. It has already been coined “Turn the Gays Away” bill.
Here’s what this bill does:
The bill notes that businesses can refuse services and goods only if it furthers a civil union, domestic partnership, or same-sex marriage. The person or business would just have to say it was against their religion. For example, if a same-sex couple wanted a cake for their wedding reception, a bakery could refuse to cater to them.
Jonathan Cole of the Tennessee Equality Project says the bill is making discrimination legal.
“It’s bad for business,” Cole said. “It’s bad for attracting talent that would be offered a job to come and work for a corporation here in Tennessee. When they see bills like this capturing the headlines, it really reflects poorly on the state.”
A couple of questions to delve further into Kelsey’s bill. The scope of the bill applies to anything that might apply to a big “gay” wedding or partnership, but the bottom line, to quote a comment made at Knox Views, it is another gateway bill into bigotry. We’ve seen this happen before with Sen. Stacy Campfield and his horrendous remarks about the LGBT community with his “Don’t Say Gay” bill. It’s about taking legislative action against civil rights. All men and women are created equal unless they want to get married to each other, then you can say I won’t help you because it’s against my religion?
It is a gateway problem because what happens after this bill? How much money will the state have to pay in legal fees when it gets sued and it will if this goes through.
Many of our legislators are good people, I’m not saying they aren’t. I will say though that they will be will be lumped in with the Campys and Kelseys of the world as long as bills like this keep getting burned to garner headlines and to purposefully discriminate against people. We are all Tennesseans and when the national headlines hit, and they have been plentiful lately, we all look idiotic.
While we are discussing demoralizing legislation, let’s look at some things not being discussed by our elected officials.
And speaking of the state of Tennessee’s finances we read this from the Nashville Post
Halfway through the state’s budget year Tennessee’s revenue collections are $222.7 million in the hole, the Department of Revenue reported Thursday.
Although the department says January has seen the largest growth in tax collections over the last 13 months, revenues fell short $51.6 million from the state’s expectations.
And the only jobs I’m hearing anyone in Nashville and Washington talk about right now is Volkswagon, where it is apparent that the same incentives that the GOP bent over backwards to give to the German auto manufacturer is now being treated with buyer’s remorse.I mean, is Sen. Bo Watson really threatening to pull incentives? Why yes, he did go there.
And finally, we are in our 44th day without Medicaid expansion so there is $110,000,000 down the toilet for the state of Tennessee.
What do Kelsey and Watson have to say about that? I guess they are too busy fighting gay people and unions to have even noticed.