Zhaba Zhournal
Thursday, March 18, 2004 
"We can make all kinds of crazy laws" department 
Rhea County, Tennessee—site of the 1925 Scopes "Monkey Trial"—is making another attempt to divorce itself from reality: county commissioners voted 8-0 in favor of banning homosexuality. (They didn't actually ban it; but they approved a request "for an amendment to Tennessee's criminal code so homosexuals can be charged with crimes against nature." Never mind that pesky Lawrence vs. Texas Supreme Court decision that decriminalized sodomy; remember that? All the way back on June 26, 2003? Maybe the Pony Express riders haven't made it all the way to Rhea County with that piece of news yet.)

Oh, but it gets better:
[County Commissioner J.C.] Fugate also asked the county attorney to find the best way to ban homosexuals from living within the county. [...] "We need to keep them out of here," Fugate said.
Alrighty then! Have you got the tar and feathers ready? How about the rails to run them out of town on? Yeesh...

(Not, I imagine, that homosexuals are exactly lining up to live in Rhea County, Tennessee: "Oh, darn, Kevin, Rhea County's out. I guess it'll have to be San Francisco after all.")

And "keep them out" isn't the right verbal construction; believe it or not, J.C. Fugate, homosexuals are born everywhere, even in Rhea County. What do you plan to do with the ones who are already there? Another quote from the article, from Matt Nevels, president of the Chattanooga chapter of Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays:
"How are they going to determine who is homosexual? Are they going to go on a witch hunt? Put cameras in every single bedroom? I think they're digging themselves into a big hole. There's no law that will allow them to do that."
Yes; see "pesky Lawrence vs. Texas Supreme Court decision," referred to above. C'mon, people; you can't pick and choose who gets to live in a county in a state in the United States of America based on what you like or don't like or believe or don't believe. You can purchase land and build a private gated community and charge admission and only let in the people who pass your standards; you can fund private clubs and private schools that only do what you want done and teach what you want taught; but the key word there is private. You can't keep the public out of the public, okay?

[I realize I'm coming down rather hard on Rhea County, Tennessee; but the fact that it's the same county at the center of the most widely-known, well-publicized, and bitterly-fought anti-evolution trial of the 20th century does make future attempts to legally enforce the equivalent of "Let's stick our fingers in our ears and our heads in the sand and sing 'La la la I can't hear you!'" look even more irrational and backwards than they otherwise would.]

[ at 11:22 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

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