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Content about Tennessee

August 9, 2014

Opponents were able to find enough signatures to put a repeal measure on the ballot

On 7 August voters in Chattanooga, Tennessee repealed health benefits for the partners of same-sex city employees.

In 2013 November, the city council approved a bill offering LGBT public employee's non-discrimination protection and spousal benefits for those in civil partnerships. The vote was 5 to 3.

August 8, 2014

Republican lawmaker had said 'to be gay is like injecting heroin'

Tennessee state Senator Stacey Campfield, the man responsible for the homophobic ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill last year, has been dumped by voters after a decade in the legislature.

Campfield lost badly in his bid for reelection to Knox County Commissioner Richard Biggs who received more than twice the number of votes as the Republican incumbent.

Campfield received just 5,824 votes (28 percent of the overall vote) while Briggs received 13,977 (67 percent).

August 8, 2014

Republican lawmaker had said 'to be gay is like injecting heroin'

Tennessee state Senator Stacey Campfield, the man responsible for the homophobic ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill last year, has been dumped by voters after a decade in the legislature.

Campfield lost badly in his bid for reelection to Knox County Commissioner Richard Biggs who received more than twice the number of votes as the Republican incumbent.

Campfield received just 5,824 votes (28 percent of the overall vote) while Briggs received 13,977 (67 percent).

August 6, 2014

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio will rule on cases in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee

A three-judge panel of the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati heard oral arguments Wednesday (6 August) in six cases challenges gay marriage bans in four different states.

The judges will be deciding whether to uphold rulings by various federal judges in lower courts who ruled that the marriage bans in Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio are unconstitutional.

The Court heard the Michigan case first, followed by two Ohio cases, then two Kentucky cases, and finally the Tennessee case.

Rulings are not expected for a few more weeks.

July 30, 2014

Court to hear six challenges to laws banning marriage equality in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee next week

The fight for marriage equality in the US will have a historic day next week (6 August) when a federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in six different cases from four states.

Judges for the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, located in Ohio, is considering challenges to gay marriage bans in Kentucky (two cases), Michigan, Ohio (two cases), and Tennessee.

It will mark the fourth argument heard by a federal circuit court since the US Supreme Court’s decision last summer which struck down key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

June 18, 2014

A federal appeals court will rule on the constitutionality of bans on same-sex marriage in all four states covered by the US judicial Sixth Circuit in the last step for opponents short of taking the issue to the Supreme Court

A federal appeals court is set to rule on the constitutionality of bans on same-sex marriage across Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee – deciding to hear all of the cases together.

Those four states make up the judicial Sixth Circuit – one of 13 such legal circuits across the United States.

A three judge panel will hear arguments in five cases from the four states from 6 August and is likely to rule on the issue before year’s end.

June 3, 2014

An audience member, who was allegedly drunk, was shouting anti-gay slurs during emotionally tense scenes of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

An actor was fired after throwing out a heckler in the audience who was shouting ‘faggot’ at the cast.

John Lacy, who was performing as Big Daddy in a California production of Tennessee Williams’ Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, was growing tired of the unruly patron’s behavior.

According to other people at the show, the audience member was repeatedly making noise and yelled ‘fag’ during emotionally tense scenes.

The actor jumped off the stage, physically confronted the audience member, and threw him out of the theater.

May 2, 2014

The Tennessee wedding venue Mint Springs Farm that refused to host two gay Iraq War veterans’ commitment ceremony have changed their policy and will now welcome all couples who wish to wed there

Tennessee wedding venue Mint Springs Farm will allow couples regardless of sexuality or whether they can obtain a marriage license to hold commitment ceremonies on its grounds in a reversal of a previous policy that effectively banned gay couples.

May 2, 2014

Christian Party candidate Darrell Trigg wants to end the legal recognition of homosexuality and wants abortion and divorce banned except in extreme cases

A US presidential hopeful wants gay people to be removed from television.

Darrell Trigg, a Tennessee engineer, officially announced his candidacy for president and hopes to follow Barack Obama in the White House.

The Christian Party candidate wishes to end the legal recognition of homosexuality.

He also wishes to explicitly ban same-sex marriage by redefining the union as between as a man and a woman.

April 29, 2014

Two openly gay veterans of the Iraq war were planning to use Mint Springs Farm in Tennessee to host their commitment ceremony but the owners have refused to let them, claiming the state’s ban on same-sex marriage prevents them

A wedding venue in Tennessee is denying a pair of Iraq War veterans the use of their facilities because they are a gay couple.

Anthony Wilfert and Brian Blas met while stationed at Fort Campbell nine years ago and became a couple despite the then policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell that banned openly gay people from serving in the military.

March 19, 2014

'We intend to take all necessary steps to defend the law'

Governor Bill Haslam is appealing a federal judge's 14 March ruling that Tennessee must recognize the marriages of three same-sex couples while their lawsuit against the state's gay marriage ban is pending.

March 14, 2014

The couples moved to Tennesee after legally marrying in other states - filed federal lawsuit last October

A federal judge in Nashville ruled on Friday (14 March) that Tennessee must recognize the marriages of three same-sex couples while their lawsuit against the state's gay marriage ban is pending.

The three couples were legally married in other states before moving to Tennessee.

They filed suit last October claiming the ban violates the federal Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process and the constitutionally protected right to travel between and move to other states.

March 6, 2014

A song encouraging you to kiss girls or boys is changing country music and promoting a message of individuality and acceptance to its hesitant fans

‘Make lots of noise, kiss lots of boys or kiss lots of girls if that’s what you’re into.’

Seems fair enough right? Well not if you are a country radio DJ in a conservative market deep in the Bible belt of the American South it’s not. It’s more a rallying cry to join the dark side and give your soul to the devil.

At least that’s been the reaction to those lyrics in the song Follow Your Arrow by new country music superstar Kacey Musgraves.

March 5, 2014

Larry Tomczak claims that when people 'choose' a gay lifestyle, God punishes their bodies with a 'penalty'

God is punishing gay men and lesbians by making them ‘effeminate’ or ‘mannish’, a pastor and US pundit has claimed.

Larry Tomczak, a pastor from Tennessee, is seen in video footage suggesting God punishes homosexuals with the characteristics of the opposite gender.

‘God turning people over to their own desires, men lusting after men, women after women, and they receive in their own bodies the penalties for their sin,’ he says, as Right Wing Watch first reported.

February 16, 2014

'It's our job as citizens to say that Michael Sam deserves a fair chance, not because he's a gay football player, but because he's a football player and he wants to go out and play football'

Chris Kluwe thinks  Michael Sam, the University of Missouri football defensive lineman who happens to be gay, will have few problems with National Football League teammates.

December 23, 2013

The country singer is reportedly performing for the Glastonbury Legends slot on the Sunday of the June festival

67-year-old Dolly Parton is expected to grace the Glastonbury stage next year.

The open-air festival launched in the 1970s welcomes emerging and chart-topping artists to play a weekend in Somerset, England.

Last year’s headline acts included U2, Coldplay and Beyoncé. Additional acts confirmed for next year’s festival include Lily Allen.

According to a source who spoke to The Sun newspaper: ‘Dolly is perfect for the Sunday Legends slot. It didn't take any convincing - she's always wanted to play Glastonbury.’

November 23, 2013

The owner of the Healthy Thyme health food shop in Paris, TN was found by police badly bruised with an anti-gay slur written across his forehead

Three suspects remain at large following an anti-gay hate crime in a Tennessee city after a business owner was savagely attacked and his store badly damaged.

 

Joe Williams, who owns the Healthy Thyme health food shop in Paris, Tennessee, was closing his store on Wednesday (20 November) when he was approached by a man asking for something to help his sick daughter.

 

October 21, 2013

'Every day, we are reminded that Tennessee does not value our commitment or our family'

Four legally married same-sex couples who live in Tennessee filed a federal lawsuit Monday (21 October) seeking to have their marriages legally recognized by the state.

The couples all married in other states and later moved to Tennessee where state law prohibits legal recognition of same-sex marriages.

They allege in their lawsuit that the state's law violates the federal Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process and the constitutionally protected right to travel between and move to other states.

October 21, 2013

'Every day, we are reminded that Tennessee does not value our commitment or our family'

Four legally married same-sex couples who live in Tennessee filed a federal lawsuit Monday (21 October) seeking to have their marriages legally recognized by the state.

The couples all married in other states and later moved to Tennessee where state law prohibits legal recognition of same-sex marriages.

They allege in their lawsuit that the state's law violates the federal Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process and the constitutionally protected right to travel between and move to other states.

October 15, 2013

'Ultimately being yourself is what really matters'

When Jonathan Allen went on NBC's America's Got Talent last summer, he was finally able to get the acceptance for being gay that he was unable to get from home.

The 20-year-old aspiring singer with the operatic voice made it all the way to the semifinals before finally being eliminated.

Allen revealed on the first show that on his 18th birthday, his parents had kicked him out of the family home in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for being gay. He received a standing ovation after his performance of Con te Partirò including one from the judges.

October 8, 2013

An LGBT group at Middle Tennessee State University have been accused of desecrating the American flag after they displayed a version with rainbow stripes to mark LGBT History Month but the US Government feels otherwise

A decision to display a rainbow striped version of the American flag to mark LGBT History Month at Middle Tennessee State University has been branded an act of desecration by a graduate of the school but the US Government feels otherwise.

Members of LGBT on-campus support group MT Lamda didn’t think they were doing anything wrong when they put the flag up as part of a display in the university’s Walker Library marking the group’s 25th year at the university but Middle Tennessee graduate Ralph Dye was so incensed by it he decided to go to the media.

September 30, 2013

'I really am humbled by it often. I feel really grateful'

For a guy who started out playing Tori Spelling's best friend on the short-lived comedy series So NoTORIous, Zachary Quinto has done pretty well for himself.

He’s conquered television as one of the stars of Heroes then American Horror Story and landed the plum role of Mr. Spock in the reboot of the Star Trek feature film franchise.

Now the openly gay actor is making his Broadway debut in a revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie which also stars two-time Tony winner Cherry Jones.

Quinto can't quite believe his good fortune.

September 10, 2013

Trail Life USA hopes to provide a home for people who feel excluded from the Boy Scouts of American because the scouts won't exclude gay teens

A group set up by people who have left the Boy Scouts of America after the scouts allowed openly gay teens to become scouts launched in Tennessee over the weekend.

Around 1,200 people attended an inaugural Leadership Conference for the group ‘Trail Life USA’ which bills itself as a Christian alternative to the Boy Scouts of America.

August 23, 2013

Tennessee man is finding an alternative use for the geo-location hookup site, connecting LGBT Christians

A Christian youth leader is using Grindr to recruit gay people.

Michael Szalapski is using the geo-location hookup site in an alternative way. He's trying to help other gay Christians experiencing rejection from the church.

The gay man from Clarksville, Tennessee, was recruited by his progressive church, gay-friendly church as they felt young people would benefit from his experience and insight.

Filmmaker Christian Hendricks interviewed Szalapski on his different methods.