Sunday, October 27, 2019

How did Council members vote in honoring gay "Coming Out Day?"

by Rod Williams - On October the 15th the Metro Council passed the resolution below recognizing October 2019 as LGBT History Month in Nashville and Davidson County and October 11, 2019 as National Coming Out Day. The resolution was not discussed.

Here is how the Council voted:  "Having been unanimously approved by all of the appropriate Committees, Council Member Rosenberg moved to adopt the Consent Agenda Resolutions, which motion was seconded and approved by the following vote: Yes (36): Mendes, Hurt, Allen, Suara, Hall, Toombs, Gamble, Withers, Benedict, VanReece, Hancock, Young, Larry Hagar, Evans, Bradford, Syracuse, Welsch, Sledge, Cash, O'Connell, Roberts, Taylor, Hausser,Thom Druffel, Murphy, Pulley, Courtney Johnston, Robert Nash, Vercher, Porterfield, Sepulveda, Rutherford, Styles, Lee, Angie Henderson and Rosenberg; No (0); Abstain (0)."

You will note that no one voted "no" or "abstain" when voting on this measure and this was not a machine roll call vote. However only 36 members voted in favor. So who did not vote for it?  Of the 40 member Council, none were absent. So, four people did not vote. To not have themselves not recording as in favor, they may have been out of the room on a bathroom break or they may have been present for part of the meeting but not for this vote. Looking at who is not listed as voting "yes" and comparing it to the list of Council members, these are the ones who failed to vote:

  • Steve Glover, Councilman at-large
  • Robert Swope, District 4
  • Sean Parker, District 5
  • Keven Rhoten, District 14
I commend these four council members. I have highlighted in the above list some council member who disappointed me by their vote in favor of this resolution.  Below is the text of the resolution.

 Resolution RS2019-49
A resolution recognizing October 2019 as LGBT History Month in Nashville and Davidson County and October 11, 2019 as National Coming Out Day.

WHEREAS, the month of October is recognized as LGBT History Month in the United States; a month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history, as well as the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements; and

WHEREAS, the Council also recognizes October 11, 2019 as National Coming Out Day. October 11 was selected as National Coming Out Day to mark the Second March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1987; and

WHEREAS, Nashville has a special connection to national LGBT history through Penny Campbell. Penny Campbell was an LGBT activist who co-organized the Tennessee delegation to the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1987 and Nashville's Pride Parade in 1988. Later, she made history as lead plaintiff in Campbell vs. Sundquist (1996), which overturned a Tennessee state law criminalizing private, consensual sexual acts between same-sex adults; and

WHEREAS, in 2017, the Metro Nashville Historical Commission placed a historical marker at Penny Campbell’s former home at 1615 McEwen Avenue in the Lockeland Springs neighborhood, and concurrently made history by being the first publicly sanctioned historical marker in the state of Tennessee to commemorate the LGBTQ rights movement; and

WHEREAS, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has worked tirelessly to originate the movement to designate October as LGBT History Month. GLSEN was founded in 1990 by a group of dedicated teachers who recognized that improvements could be made in the education system to help LGBTQ students who are often subject to bullying and discrimination. To help these students, GLSEN takes steps to advocate for LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum to help all students better understand our world and our differences; and

WHEREAS, the first LGBT History Month was organized by GLSEN in October 1994 and this month will mark the 25th LGBT History Month. It is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council recognize October 2019 as LGBT History Month and October 11 as National Coming Out Day.

Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby recognizes October 2019 as LGBT History Month in Nashville and Davidson County, and furthermore recognizes October 11, 2019 as National Coming Out Day.

Section 2. The Council Office is directed to prepare a signed copy of this Resolution to be delivered to the local chapter of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission.

Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsor(s):  Brett Withers, Nancy VanReece, Emily Benedict, Zachary Young, Russ Bradford, Sharon Hurt, Freddie O'Connell, Joy Styles, Angie Henderson, Burkley Allen.

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