Second Thoughts in Monkey County
March 18, 2004
By 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Nashville, Tennessee—Rhea County
commissioners say they didn’t realize what they were voting for when they
endorsed a proposal to make homosexuality illegal in the county made famous by
the Scopes Monkey trial in 1925.
Earlier this week the county commission in a unanimous
vote agreed to ask the state for the power to arrest gays for “crimes
against nature”. (story)
But, after the story became front page headlines around
the world some commissions want the issue reopened. They say they thought they
were voting for the power to stop same-sex couples from marrying and nothing
Commissioner J.C. Fugate, who offered the motion, says
there’s no need to reopen the debate. He says he’s clear on what he meant
and what the other commissioners voted for. The motion directs County Attorney
Gary Fritts to find the best way to enact a local law banning gays from living
in Rhea County.
In introducing the motion Fugate said the issue of
homosexuality is simple. He said he wants to keep homosexuals, “out of
Nevertheless, a majority of commissioners have called a
special meeting to discuss rescinding the motion.
The conservative county in the heart of the Bible Belt
was the scene of the Scopes Monkey Trial. In 1925, high school teacher John T.
Scopes was convicted of teaching evolution and fined $100. The conviction was
The local school district still teaches creationism in
its curriculum as an equal theory to evolution.
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