News Articles

Homosexual issue once again at Nashville politics forefront

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–A grassroots effort in Nashville, Tenn., has helped make a difference at the polls by letting pro-family voters know where candidates stand on a key homosexual-friendly issue.

In March the Nashville metro council narrowly defeated a sexual “orientation” anti-discrimination bill by a vote of 19-18 when the vice mayor cast the tie-breaking “no” vote. Many of those same council members are now up for re-election, and the issue has played a role in the way concerned citizens are voting.

One group — Nashvillians for a Brighter Future — lists candidates’ positions on its website, www.commongoode.com. The group obtained the answers by mailing the candidates a questionnaire.

The general election was held in August, and a runoff election will be held Sept. 11. Jerry Flowers, who has helped lead the group, told Baptist Press that positive results from the general election have persuaded candidates to pay attention to Nashvillians for a Brighter Future. This is the first year the group has been involved in an election.

“It’s gone extremely well,” he said. “… We have information from candidates who wouldn’t talk to us before [the general election].”

One prominent opponent of the anti-discrimination bill, Carolyn Baldwin-Tucker, was re-elected in August and avoided a runoff.

The bill would have banned employment discrimination based on “sexual orientation” within the city government, thus covering all public schools.

Following is information about the candidates in the Sept. 11 runoff election, provided for Baptist Press readers registered to vote in Nashville. Information is derived from data on www.commongoode.com.


DAVID BRILEY [Incumbent] — Briley voted for the anti-discrimination bill. But Briley does not “feel that churches and private businesses should be subject to such legislation in the metro council,” according to commongoode.com. ADAM DREAD [Incumbent] — Voted for the anti-discrimination bill.

ROY DALE — Commongoode.com says that Dale’s “statements during general election were confusing.” He “now says he does not support homosexual agenda.”

On his questionnaire Dale wrote, “[A]s a Christian, it concerns me that certain behaviors are being forced upon the youths of our city.”

LARRY SCHMITTOU — Says he would have voted no on anti-discrimination bill.

“I don’t want gays and lesbians teaching my grandchildren,” he said, according to commongoode.com.



CHESTER HUGHES — Asked how he would vote on homosexual-friendly bills, Hughes told commongoode.com, “At this point, [I would vote] no.”

WALTER HUNT — Asked if he was pro-homosexual rights, Hunt said he was “not sure.”


LAWRENCE HALL, JR. [Incumbent] — Voted for anti-discrimination bill.

PAM MURRAY — Candidate has not taken a public position on homosexual rights, commongoode.com says.


JIM FORKUM — Opposes homosexual rights and is pro-life, according to commongoode.com.

RICK WILLIAMS — Opposes homosexual rights and is pro-choice, according to commongoode.com.


KAREN JOHNSON — Opposes homosexual rights.

VIVIAN WILHOITE — Opposes homosexual rights.


ROGER ABRAMSON — Supports homosexual rights.

HARLEY PARKER TOLER — Opposes homosexual rights.


SAM COLEMAN — Coleman did not give a definite answer when asked if he supports homosexual rights. Instead Coleman said he “is not convinced that sexual orientation legislation is needed,” according to commongoode.com.

JOHN KINCAID — Opposes homosexual rights.

    About the Author

  • Staff