Tenn. county wants to charge homosexuals"This land is my land..."
By Associated Press, Wednesday, March 17, 2004
DAYTON, Tenn. - The county that was the site of the Scopes "Monkey Trial" over the teaching of evolution is asking lawmakers to amend state law so the county can charge homosexuals with crimes against nature.
The Rhea County commissioners approved the request 8-0 Tuesday.
Commissioner J.C. Fugate, who introduced the measure, also asked the county attorney to find a way to enact an ordinance banning homosexuals from living in the county.
"We need to keep them out of here," Fugate said.
Fox News, also citing the AP, reported it this way:
Tenn. County Officials Seek to Ban GaysAnd people want to make fun of Spain?
Wednesday, March 17, 2004, Associated Press
DAYTON, Tenn. — Rhea County (search) commissioners unanimously voted to ask state lawmakers to introduce legislation amending Tennessee's criminal code so the county can charge homosexuals (search) with crimes against nature.
"We need to keep them out of here," said Commissioner J.C. Fugate, who introduced the motion.
County Attorney Gary Fritts also was asked by Fugate to find the best way to enact a local law banning homosexuals from living in Rhea County.
...Rhea County, about 30 miles north of Chattanooga, is among the most conservative in Tennessee. It holds an annual festival commemorating the 1925 trial that convicted John T. Scopes on charges of teaching evolution, a verdict thrown out by the Tennessee Supreme Court on a technicality. The trial later became the subject of the play and movie, "Inherit the Wind."
In 2002, a federal judge ruled unconstitutional the Rhea County school board's Bible Education Ministry, a class taught in the public schools by students from a Christian college.