Saturday, December 12, 2015

These people must enjoy looking like rubes

Gene F. Snead
Gene F. Snead, Jr.
A proposed resolution challenging the legalization of marriage equality in Tennessee may have died during Monday night’s Franklin County Commission meeting. Perhaps it did not.

Franklin County, Tennessee has a population of 41,129. In addition to its 77 churches it is home to Sewanee | The University of the South. It is also home to University of Tennessee Space Institute (strange, I know)  which is adjacent to Arnold Air Force Base. While there have never been enough Jews to support a synagogue, Dinah Shore was born in the county (yes, she was Jewish).

Apparently Franklin County it is also home to a group of citizens who, for no discernible reason, think that gay couples should not be permitted to marry. Obergefell be damned. History about the treatment of minorities in Tennessee? What history?

Resolution 8d-1215 is, or was, titled: To Request State to Reaffirm Authority to Regulate Domestic Relations. It was dropped when the bill's sponsors withdrew it. Commissioner Gene Snead wasn't satisfied. Snead said; “My belief is that same-sex marriage should not be allowed.” He added, “I don’t hate anybody.” The erudite Mr. Snead further explained:
But the fact is the state of Tennessee does not have a law on the books, there’s always opportunity to challenge even the Supreme Court and the court system – things get changed at some point and changed back.
The rubeness spreads. It becomes more acute. According to the local paper (link and image added):
Tennessee State Rep. David Alexander
State Rep. David Alexander, in a letter to the Herald Chronicle editor, protested the actions taken by the commission in allowing the resolution to be withdrawn. He said the move was “politically correct” but an affront to democracy.

“The Franklin County Commission was politically correct when they withdrew the defense of traditional marriage resolution the other night,” Alexander said. “Are you as tired of political correctness as I am? Do you believe that Democracy champions free speech? Do you believe that free speech trumps political correctness?”
[…]
Alexander went on to question what the consequences would be if America’s citizens continue down a path of political correctness, and avoid standing up for what they believe, regardless of the legal consequences.

In his letter Alexander concluded, “The Supreme Court, the President, some political party and our silent commissioners can say (or not) what they want to about traditional marriage and thus the traditional family, but that will never change the fact that it is the bedrock the human race and this nation were built upon – and if the family fails, the fabric of this nation will unravel and we will lose this country.”
It's  a free country. Mr. Snead and Mr. Alexander have the freedom never to marry another man. They also have the freedom to start a drive for a constitutional amendment to invalidate Obergefell. Perhaps they can figure out how to get 38 states to ratify their endeavor. That is probably the only solution to their problem of their own making. Lack of Article III standing would seem to preclude anyone from getting a new case to the Supreme Court. These Bible thumping, flag waving “patriots” never bother to understand the Constitution. Apparently neither of these gentlemen – elected officials – realize that nullification is illegal and unconstitutional.

I do not know how many gay people in Tennessee have married since June 26. I would wager that neither do Mr. Snead nor Mr. Alexander. They do not know because they have not been affected – in any way – by those marriages. If they have a theory about future consequences I would ask if that has happened in Massachusetts. Mr. Alexander offers platitudes about marriage being “the bedrock the human race.” Does he believe that each same-sex marriage deprives society of a traditional marriage? Seriously?

Ultimately, this is about their disapproval of gay people. It is prejudice. Shame on them for trying to impose their homophobia on public policy. In many ways their prejudice continues to disadvantage gay people and their children. They don't need a resolution for attitudes – their intolerance – to affect a minority group.

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