Last edited: March 27, 2004

Community that Tried to Imprison Gays to Get a Taste of Rainbow Pride, March 24, 2004

By Newscenter Staff

Nashville, Tennessee—Less than a week after Rhea County was forced to back down on calling for the power to jail gays under Tennessee’s Crimes Against Nature law the LGBT community is preparing for its first Pride Day.

Gays from across the country are being urged to converge on Rhea County on May 24 to celebrate Rhea County Gay Day.

Gary A. Eddings, who is organizing the event said it will be held at the Rhea County Courthouse, where the commission held its vote and then following a blitz of media attention rescinded it and where the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial dealing with the teaching of evolution in the schools was held.

Eddings said the threat of being jailed has galvanized the small local gay community into action.

“I don’t believe there are any of those people living here,” said June Griffin, a Christian activist who favored the recent ordinance. She also said she disagreed with “homosexual agitators” coming to the community to celebrate Pride.

Eddings said the schedule of activities has not yet been worked out and hopes to get help from other gay groups in the state. He has set up a website with directions to the courthouse.

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