Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Nashville/Metro Councilmen Refuse To Recognize High School Political Activism Because Of LGBT Rights

Last night, the Metro Council of Nashville/Davidson County was asked to approve a Resolution - text of which can be found here - to honor those students who had organized protests in Nashville against the "Don't Say Gay" bill. The resolution was not about the bill per say, but instead was about the recognition of activism by high school students, and the positive benefits that such activism brings to the community.

According to Nashville Councilman Jamie Hollin's blog, in order for his resolution to be considered he,


"...needed to move to suspend the rules to have the honorary and memorializing resolution considered by the entire council. If 2 or more people objected to the motion to suspend, it couldn’t be considered. I was happy to let it go, but the nature of the honorary resolution, according to legal counsel, meant this was the last time it could be considered in this term. Because it was an honorary and memorializing resolution, i.e. not legislation or even a memorializing resolution asking someone to do something or not do something, it should have sailed through like the maker of the same motion immediately beforehand. "
      Or so he thought. After the motion to suspend was asked for, two of the most anti-gay members on the Metro Council - Jim Gotto and Phil Claiborne -  objected, having the consequence of not allowing the Resolution to even go forward. Councilman Hollin erupted in anger at these two men, accusing them of objecting to the resolution because it had to do with LGBT issues, an eruption that he has since apologized for. According to the Tennessean, Councilman Gotto claims that he was just "exercising his right" and that there were no personal reasons for why he objected.

      Yea right Councilmen Gotto and Claiborne - there was no "personal reasons" for your objection to this Resolution. As Councilman Hollin explains on his blog, this was not legislation or even a memorializing resolution, but was instead just recognizing a group of high school students for participating in the political process. Why then did they object? What reasoning will they give? It looks to me, and any outside observer, that the only reason for objecting to the resolution was because of the nature of the high school students protests - aka. about the "Don't Say Gay" bill. It is time for Councilmen Gotto and Clairborne to stand up and explain to the citizens of Nashville why they acted the way that they did, and why they have refused the recognition of political activity by high school students.

They can be reached here...

Jim Gotto - jim.gotto@nashville.gov

Phil Claiborne - phil.claiborne@nashville.gov

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