Friday, March 19, 2004

Tennessee County Retreat from Gay Ban

What a bunch of idiots! How could these people ever have seriously entertained the notion of "banning" homosexuals from their county?

The county that was the site of the Scopes "Monkey Trial" over the teaching of evolution Thursday reversed its call to ban homosexuals.

Rhea County commissioners took about three minutes to retreat from a request to amend state law so the county can charge homosexuals with crimes against nature. The Tuesday measure passed 8-0.

County attorney Gary Fritts said the initial vote triggered a "wildfire" of reaction. "I've never seen nothing like this," he said Thursday.

But Fritts said it was all a misunderstanding.

"They wanted to send a message to our (state) representative and senator that Rhea County supports the ban on same-sex marriage," he said. "Same-sex marriage is what it was all about. It was to stop people from coming here and getting married and living in Rhea County."

Not that the issue of banning homosexuals didn't arise.

"I'm not saying it wasn't discussed," Fritts said. "Sometimes you had five or six people talking."

Fritts said he advised the commissioners they cannot ban homosexuals or make them subject to criminal charges. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 struck down Texas' sodomy laws as a violation of adults' privacy.

Fritts said he doesn't believe the issue will come up again.

"I think they got all the publicity they need about it," he said.

The bit about the Scopes "Monkey Trial" doesn't surprise me in the least. It looks like Rhea County has long made a specialty of stupidity.