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Tennessee DA: ‘Gay people aren’t entitled to domestic violence protections’

Tennessee DA: ‘Gay people aren’t entitled to domestic violence protections’

Tennessee County DA Craig Northcott

The district attorney general of Coffee County, Tennessee, Craig Northcott, is under fire for saying gay people do not deserve protections from domestic violence.

Northcott, who recently refused to apologize for calling Muslims inherently ‘evil’ and ‘violent’ on Facebook, made the homophobic remarks at a Bible conference last year.

Dean Bible Ministries posted a video of the conference, where Northcott spoke during a session titled The Local Church’s Role in Government.

Northcott’s comments about domestic violence came while he spoke about the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

‘So the social engineers on the Supreme Court decided that we now have homosexual marriage. I disagree with them,’ he said. ‘Are you going to do what God says, or are you going to do what man says?’

Then he gave the example of domestic violence and how it applies to marriage.

‘There’s no marriage to protect’

In Tennessee, there are aggravated punishments for domestic violence offenders. This includes taking  firearms away from convicted people.

According to Northcott, however, when domestic violence occurs within same-sex households, these punishments and protections do not apply.

‘The reason that there’s enhanced punishment on domestic violence is to recognize and protect the sanctity of marriage,’ he further said in the video. ‘And I said there’s no marriage to protect. So I don’t prosecute them as domestics.’

Later in the video, he acknowledged he ‘disagrees’ with what he does regarding domestic violence. He does it anyway, however, due to his religious beliefs.

‘On the one hand, I don’t prosecute them because I don’t recognize it as marriage. On the other hand, if I don’t prosecute him, then the sinner, the immoral guy, gets less punishment. What do you do?

‘We can choose to prosecute anything, or we can choose not to prosecute anything up to and including murder. It’s our choice. … To deal with that, you elect a good Christian DA.’

A ‘crackpot’

Chris Sanders of the Tennessee Equality Project described Northcott as a ‘crackpot’ to News Channel 5.

‘When it happens, victims, survivors rely on those charged with enforcement of the law to protect them,’ Sanders said of domestic violence.

The state’s law regarding domestic violence does not take into account marital status or sexual orientation.

Sanders continued: ‘In this case, it looks like we have a district attorney who is willfully ignoring the marital status, the relationships of members in our community and not protecting them fully.’

GSN reached out to the Coffee County Mayor’s office and the state district attorney conference for comment.

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