sexual orientation

TN Court of Appeals rejects lawsuit brought by same-sex marriage opponents

The state Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit brought by opponents of same-sex marriage with David Fowler, a former state senator and current chairman of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, acting as attorney for the plaintiffs.

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Legislature approves new $2 tax on strip club customers

The legislature has given final approval  to a bill levying a $2 tax on each customer entering a “sexually oriented business” – or strip club. Revenue raised from the tax under the measure, as introduced, was earmarked a fund to benefit survivors of sex trafficking, paying for things like more beds and programs at sex trafficking rehab centers, though changed via amendment to state that’s only a general intent.

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Senate panel quietly kills latest version of transgender bathroom bill.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday quietly killed a bill requiring the state attorney general to represent public school systems when they face lawsuits over sex-linked bathroom policies or, if he declines, that the state instead pay the legal fees of private attorneys.

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Appeals court rejects legislators’ intervention in lesbian couple’s child custody dispute

The state Court of Appeals has rejected an attempt by 52 state representatives and 19 state senators to intervene in a divorce dispute over child custody between Sabrina Witt and Erica Witt, two Knoxville women who were married in Washington, D.C., reports the News Sentinel.

The opinion, written by Court of Appeals Chief Judge Michael Swiney also declares that the legislators should pay costs involved in appealing the trial court’s decision dismissing their motion to intervene.

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Gay couple protests TNGOP use of wedding photo in attack ad; more media reporting on Senate District 14

A direct mail attack ad against Democratic state Senate candidate Gayle Jordan uses a picture of her with two gay men – she officiated at their marriage – who have consulted a lawyer because the photograph was lifted from a Facebook page and used without their permission, reports WSMV.

Shane Morgan, an Air Force veteran who suffers from PTSD, said he and his husband, Landon, were married by Jordan in December as private citizens and didn’t sign up to be caught in mudslinging. The attack mailer has a headline over the picture saying, “Liberal Gayle Jordan will destroy the fabric of American society. Take her word for it.”

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House Republicans reconsider killing of child bride bill

State House Republicans are reconsidering the killing of a bill to prohibit marriage of children under age 18, reports The Tennessean. The measure sponsored by Democratic Rep. Darren Jernigan of Nashville was previously punted until 2019 on motion of House Majority Leader Glen Casada, who acknowledged he was acting at the request of Christian conservative leader David Fowler.

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Christian conservative leader has legislators scuttle bill banning child marriage

A bill aimed at banning “child brides” in Tennessee is dead for the year after a former state senator and conservative activist asked it be delayed for fear it might interfere with his legal challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2015 ruling on same-sex marriage, reports the Times Free Press.

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Nude photos of Nashville mayor found on lover/bodyguard ‘s cell phone?

Photographs of a woman’s nude body were found on the cell phone of former Metro Nashville police Sgt. Rob Forrest, who had an acknowledged sexual affair with Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, reports The Tennessean, citing a TBI affidavit filed in seeking a court order mandating access to Barry’s personal cell phone.

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Fundraising effort seeks to finance UT Knoxville LGBT center without state money

An effort called “Vol Means All” is underway to fully fund operations at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s LGBT student center without government support, according to Out and About in Nashville. The first official fundraiser will be Feb. 1 in Nashville with UT-Knoxville Chancellor Beverly Davenport on hand.

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McCormick drops ‘bathroom bill’ after talk with AG and Harwell

State Rep. Gerald McCormick says he is withdrawing his controversial school “bathroom bill” after assurances from Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery that he already can and will step in with legal aid to smaller systems facing lawsuits over LGBT access policies, reports the Times Free Press.

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