Discrimination | News | Tennessee

Tennessee Lawmaker Introduces 'Turn the Gays Away' Bill Allowing Religion-Based Discrimination: VIDEO


GOP state Senator Brian Kelsey (pictured, below) has introduced a bill in Tennessee, similar to ones being floated in several other states, that would allow religious-based discrimination against gays, FOX13 reports:

KelseyThe bill notes that businesses can refuse services and goods only if it furthers a civil union, domestic partnership, or same-sex marriage. The person or business would just have to say it was against their religion. For example, if a same-sex couple wanted a cake for their wedding reception, a bakery could refuse to cater to them.

Jonathan Cole of the Tennessee Equality Project says the bill is making discrimination legal.

"It's bad for business," Cole said. "It's bad for attracting talent that would be offered a job to come and work for a corporation here in Tennessee. When they see bills like this capturing the headlines, it really reflects poorly on the state."

Watch FOX13's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

A Memphis restaurant is reacting to the bills introduction with a fundraiser to unseat Kelsey:

This morning, Restaurant Iris and Second Line owner/chef Kelly English made an offer that anyone with political ambitions in Germantown's District 31 might not be able to refuse. English posted that he'll host a political fund-raiser for whoever opposes Senator Brian Kelsey of Germantown in the next election.

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  1. "Freedom of Religion" does not mean freedom from taxes. Start making the churches pay and watch their tunes change. They are already involved in politics so they need to pay for their freedom to discriminate.

    Posted by: robertL | Feb 13, 2014 12:02:16 PM

  2. I am sure they'd like separate bathrooms, drinking fountains, and bus seats for us as well.

    Posted by: spg | Feb 13, 2014 12:07:22 PM

  3. Tennessee. The state that apparently has nothing better to do.

    @SPG^ Some of them still look for them and wonder where they went.

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Feb 13, 2014 12:21:18 PM

  4. They should also include in the bill a stipulation that to enforce this legislation, the business owner must prove that they follow all the biblical dictates of Jesus completely to the letter. For example, to give up all their possessions and live a life of poverty, service and charity for their one true lord. Only by religious purity tests could we ever determine the righteous bigots from the run-of-the-mill pretend-Christianistas.

    Posted by: stranded | Feb 13, 2014 12:33:46 PM

  5. WhatACunt.

    Posted by: MARCUS BACHMANN | Feb 13, 2014 12:39:35 PM

  6. Discrimination is discrimination and legalized discrimination is not different.

    This opens the floodgates for religion on religion discrimination. Muslim Americans can now say they would like a law stating they don't have to serve Christians. Those of the Jewish faith can turn away those who don't adhere to clauses within their religion. Catholics should be allowed to turn away divorcees.

    See how that sounds?

    Yeah, so do we.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | Feb 13, 2014 12:45:46 PM

  7. AGAIN: your church is not my government!

    Posted by: Raybob | Feb 13, 2014 1:11:43 PM

  8. whose the kid on his right? boyfriend? kept boy?

    Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC | Feb 13, 2014 1:12:54 PM

  9. Given the recent passage in Kansas of the same bill, how can anybody deny that sexual orientation demands strict scrutiny when it comes before the courts?

    Posted by: Rrhain | Feb 13, 2014 1:26:49 PM

  10. These guys deserve every terrible thing that ever happens to them.

    Posted by: Datlaw | Feb 13, 2014 1:31:30 PM

  11. The ignorance astounds. Can Kelsey really be that obtuse?

    Carte blance to discriminate as long as it's claimed as religion.
    Open ended, undefined. No litmus test.

    All around the country these type bills have been introduced. By Republicans. And not one word of dissent from the National or State GOP. And where are the Church leaders to speak out?

    Time to reign in the lunacy.

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Feb 13, 2014 1:38:59 PM

  12. where's his bill allowing businesses to refuse service to divorcees or to people cohabitating out of wedlock? those are against his religion too. how about people who are on their second marriage (coveting their neighbour's wife) or people who swear (taking their lord's name in vain), where's his bill against them?

    Posted by: jed | Feb 13, 2014 1:54:32 PM

  13. If you're gay and you live in Tennessee then vote this idiot out of office as quickly as possible. This is not the kind of representation you want or need. The choice is yours.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Feb 13, 2014 2:31:50 PM

  14. Turn the gays away?
    That's discrimination!
    We're not scared of you
    No intimidation!

    Posted by: Vicki Sue Robinson | Feb 13, 2014 2:45:46 PM

  15. It has already been stated by another poster, but should this bill be passed and accepted into law it will not be long before "christians" go back to being Klansmen and be protected in their negative behavior. Discrimination against Jewish, Blacks, Gays, divorcees, and slavery are all up for "acceptance" to be protected by law (plus some other less savory parts of the "christian" bible). EWWW.. makes me even less willing to have anything to do with them. If my religion says to not serve or have anything to do with "christians", and that is protected by this law too, right?

    Posted by: Gordon | Feb 13, 2014 3:03:29 PM

  16. When the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments prohibited slavery and (in theory, anyway) made US law race-blind, many state went ahead and passed laws enforcing segregation. These "turn the gays away" laws are no different: the last, desperate deathrattle of bigots who know their worldview will soon end up on the rubbish pile of history.

    It may take a generation or two before everything settles out, but equality will win out in the end.

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Feb 13, 2014 3:25:43 PM

  17. What world have I awoken in? What year is it? Is this really happening? Am I dreaming? No, this is an unbelievable, ridiculous reality. This is not only happening right now in Tennessee but in other states like Kansas as well (http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/story/24698365/sen-kelsey-introduces-turn-the-gays-away-bill#axzz2tDAUC25L) ...

    So, Kansas and Tennessee, you're telling us that if the Tennessee Titans or The Kansas City Chiefs draft Michael Sam (The first openly gay player to enter the NFL Draft and potentially play in the NFL ... http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/10/sports/michael-sam-college-football-star-says-he-is-gay-ahead-of-nfl-draft.html?_r=0)... He is going to face being turned away from accommodations, goods and services because of his same-sex sexual orientation. Really? The same guy that was the best defensive player in the best conference in college football this year. Really? Have all of you lost your F@@King minds? Stop wasting taxpayer's time and money and get on with some business that will directly improve our lives immediately in these very trying economic times.

    If I were gay and preferred the mental and physical companionship of a man over a woman, would some of you de-friend me? Block me from contact? Not do business me or my companies? Not like me any longer? Not love me? If so, do it now without reading any further! Go ahead... Do it! I am not scared of anything in this life! Much less the loss of money, clients, business associates, acquaintances or fake, superficial friendship or love from family or so-called true friends.

    However, I am not gay. I actually love women to a fault. I love every inch of them mentally and physically. I love them in every shape, size, color, creed and sexual orientation. And yes, I do hope that one day in the future, I hear from a woman,"Cooper, out of 8 billion people, I choose you." However, I am especially fond of those that are kind, gracious, with supermodel looks and a PhD brain( a doctorate usually based on at least 3 years graduate study and a dissertation; the highest degree awarded graduate study) ... Hence... The reason I am still single at 44... There is just not an abundance of my preference in women on earth. She is very rare and special species that I shall spend this lifetime trying to find if that is what it takes. I would just as sure take my last dying breath alone as to have settled.

    With that being said, a Bill like this leaves a lot of room for interpretation. It gives businesses the right to discriminate without legal repercussions. It is hurtful to a segment of our population that has simply been through enough. The gay community has a very high suicidal rate. I have personally known a few friends to take their own lives due to the internal struggles and lack of acceptance. Therefore, these governmental officials supporting this hurtful Bill should be ashamed of their actions. Any of you out there supporting it as well (while claiming your religious beliefs as the reason) should be very ashamed as well. Because, the one resounding theme by that man called Jesus, was the love and forgiveness of all people not matter what! (Yes, I went to church most of my life and yes I've had five to ten religion classes on the university level)

    In 1991, I was going through a hippie stage while in college at the University of Mississippi ~ Ole Miss, and living in Alaska for a summer. I was visiting Prince William Sound on the east side of the Kenai Peninsula. In 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef after leaving Valdez, causing a large oil spill, which resulted in massive damage to the environment, including the killing of around 250,000 seabirds, nearly 3,000 sea otters, 300 harbour seals, 250 bald eagles and up to 22 killer whales. I walked into a store and saw this t-shirt with a picture of the earth on the front of it. The picture was taken from outer space. The earth looked so small from way out there. I will never forget the tagline under the photo... "All One People" ...

    Cooper Barrier Bailey
    Founder of auctionpricedcars.com
    Founder of the Bon Vivant Society
    Founder of Hydration Therapy

    PO Box 331909
    Nashville, TN 37203

    (615) 602-2243

    Posted by: Cooper Barrier Bailey | Feb 13, 2014 6:45:57 PM

  18. Yup. And Woolworth's lunch counters owned by Mormons shouldn't have had to serve black people.

    Posted by: emjayay | Feb 14, 2014 1:35:21 AM

  19. Unabashed Bashing

    Brian Kelsey parades his gay bashing,
    As noble, newsworthy and dashing,
    But does this the issue,
    Really help you,
    Who's taxes fund paychecks he’s cashing?

    Posted by: TG | Feb 14, 2014 10:22:27 PM

  20. Unabashed Bashing

    Brian Kelsey parades his gay bashing,
    As noble, newsworthy and dashing,
    But does this the issue,
    Really help you,
    While your taxes fund paychecks he’s cashing?

    Posted by: TG | Feb 14, 2014 10:28:36 PM

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