Thursday, March 18, 2004

More from Rhea County

Coverage from a local Television station:

NEWS CHANNEL 9 - Rhea Commissioners Vote to Ban Gays (Note: Link may expire - if it does, please let me know in Comments)

The info in the story itself is pretty much the same as the report below, but what's interesting to note are:

1) The poll - As of 3/18, 10:24 am:

I fully support the Rhea County Commission action to ban gay/lesbian lifestyles: 160 / 20%
I am opposed to gay/lesbian lifestyles, but I believe this action will never hold up in court: 135 / 17%
I support gay/lesbian lifestyles, but I believe this action will never hold up in court: 27 / 3%
I am outraged by the Rhea County Commission action to ban gay/lesbian lifestyles: 495 / 61%

817 total votes

Read the Current Results

Of course, all online polls are suspect and inscientific but I think this one might be fairly representational - seems to me people from both sides would be inclined to make their opinion known, one not more than the other.

2) The Comments:

Oh, yes - come for the story, stay for the Comments!

UPDATE: Here's more language from another story on the Chattanooga TV Station's site:

Rhea Commission Motion On Gays Creates Controversy

"The Rhea County, Tennessee commission unanimously approved a motion that says it would ban gay couples from living in Rhea County. It would take a state representative amending Tennessee's criminal code for that to happen. The Commission Chairman says the motion was confusing, change may soon be coming.
I just have one question: if by some wild chance this criminal code amendment ever passed, how could it be proven that two homosexuals were living together? How do you prove someone is or is not homosexual in a court of law?

I had male roommates all through college - a total of seven of them, actually. We all lived together in dorms or off-campus housing over the span of about three years - none of us were homosexual (that I know of) and several of us had girlfriends or dates at various times over those three years (one became my wife, as a matter of fact). Will same-sex roommates be banned in Rhea County, just in case?

I kiss my son goodnight, and probably will for a good number of years to come. Will that be outlawed, just in case?

There's obviously no biological test for homosexuality, so no medical examination would be anywhere near conclusive.

Sounds to me the only possible way to enforce this ban would be to base arrests on rumor and gossip - and finger-pointing by piouser-than-thou neighbors....

"Officer, I seen 'em....those two boys sharin' that apartment next door! They's goin' up to the commun'ty college but I seem 'em leave ever morning, and come home about the same time. Sometimes they's other fellers comin' in and leavin' at wierd hours - they's strange noises comin' from over there - hootin' and hollerin' and carryin' on, wearin' the same orange-colored clothes and bringin' in beer and who knows what all - seems to 'bout the same time the Vols is playin on the telebision but 'spect they's just using it to mask their evil, fornicatin' ways.. You know what they's doin' in their, officer, go do yer duty and keep decent people like me safe from the likes a' them Godless heathens! Oh, by t' way...that nice family down the hall, I saw the dad kissin' his little 12-year-old son on the cheek right before he went to work t'other day....better get him, too - best not to take any chances...."

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