Burch: Petty potty politics

Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

Kudos to The City Paper and reporter Jeff Woods for reporting that the Tennessee legislature has moved to “quickly nullify” the Metro Council's newly adopted nondiscrimination ordinance. To the best of my knowledge, this has not been reported significantly — if at all — by other Nashville media. So I’m glad we have reporters like Woods to keep us informed — and, hopefully, properly outraged.

As Woods pointed out in his article that ran April 6, “Nashville’s anti-gay bias ordinance was adopted less than 24 hours ago, and already the state legislature is taking steps to nullify it.” According to Woods, this decision was made “without debate” by the House Commerce Subcommittee, which voted “to bar all Tennessee cities from enacting their own policies against gay, lesbian and/or transgender discrimination. The action was taken by voice vote, with no lawmaker offering audible opposition.”

Then Woods wrote an April 7 follow-up article in which he notes House Speaker Beth Harwell favors the nullification effort.

It seems the Family Action Council of Tennessee, a conservative Christian organization, has been putting “heavy pressure” on lawmakers by using scare tactics such as a video that suggests that not discriminating against gays would enable male child molesters to follow children into women’s restrooms. But how many children enter workplace restrooms? How many young children enter workplace restrooms without their parents accompanying them? Is there any evidence that there is a higher rate of pedophilia among GLBTs than among heterosexuals? If not, why use scare tactics to make a minimal danger seem so ominous?

Not discriminating against GLBTs does raise interesting questions about restrooms. But let’s be honest. I’m 53 and have probably shared many bathrooms with many gay men. Even though I’m not considered repulsive, I have never been conspicuously ogled while “doing my business,” much less molested or raped. So I have to believe that most gay men don’t have plans to “take advantage of me” if we end up sharing the same bathroom.

And of course heterosexual and GLBT athletes have been sharing locker rooms, showers and urinal areas for decades. We all share the same beaches and swimming pools, where we walk around nearly naked and no one worries about whom might be attracted to whom, as long as everyone acts with a reasonable degree of decorum.

Heterosexual men could dress up as women, enter women’s restrooms, and do shameful things. But we don’t discriminate against every male heterosexual because a few are creepy perverts. So there is no reason to discriminate against the many fine, upstanding citizens among our GLBT brothers and sisters, just because a few might be “bad apples.”

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary,” at www.thehypertexts.com.

148 Comments on this post:

By: Captain Nemo on 4/8/11 at 7:19

I was raised in a prejudiced house, but the sad thing about my parents they did know they were racist. I did not know I was a bigot until I got older. They had been raised that way and passed it on to their children as the natural order of live. I see so many people in life living that kind of life now.

We humans have a long way to go before we can really call ourselves kind.

By: revo-lou on 4/8/11 at 7:19

"It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business." - Mohandas Gandhi

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 7:22

Yes, Gene Roddenberry missed the Great Theocratic Wars of the 21st Century....the scourge of mankind.....Holy War.

Future Star Treks may delve into that wicked period in the development of our species....when books were burned and scientists were demonized and reviled.....Opening Scene: The Scopes Monkey Trial, Dayton, Ohio, 1925.

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 7:23

Correction: Opening Scene: The Scopes Monkey Trial, Dayton, Tennessee, 1925.

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 7:26

Revo...you missed the talking points memo...Gandhi is now considered a bisexual racist and a incestuous pedophile....it's all in a new smear bio....Google it.

By: gdiafante on 4/8/11 at 7:26

Dayton Ohio had it's own monkey trial but it didn't involve evolution...

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 7:28

True that, GD....LOL. I was Daytonized.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/8/11 at 7:31


If you like I would like to show my Star Trek collection sometime.

By: slacker on 4/8/11 at 7:36

uh oh.. are those also called etchings Nemo?

By: gdiafante on 4/8/11 at 7:37

Nemo, I don't know whether to say thanks or call the police...lol

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 7:39

I'm screwing up spelling, grammar and factoidals this morning..."a", "an" and "the", the English Articles of Consternation...they evade the spellcheck algorithms, like drug-resistant microbes evading antibiotics....same for the annoying homophones.

By: house_of_pain on 4/8/11 at 7:42

Nemo, I have a Star Trek item that you may want. I'll bring it Sunday, if you plan to attend.

By: dargent7 on 4/8/11 at 7:44

"You can judge a society by how it treats it's animals". M. Gandhi

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 7:46

Captain Nemo has been away, in deep space for a long, long time....he's had his atomic structure beamed about and reconstituted a countless number of times...for decades....I give the man slack. I do not believe those ugly rumors about the Captain and the Vulcan Cabin-boy.....Klingons started those vicious lies, ironically, they have been outted as a species....they are hermaphroditic....who knew?

By: slacker on 4/8/11 at 7:48

I have a Klingon shrunken head that e-bay won't let me list.

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 7:48

Darge, Gandhi was also into bestiality? Is that in the new smear-bio too?

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 7:50

Slack is right there with a snappy comment....doggone it, I love this posting community.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/8/11 at 7:56

Looking back at how I said it, I would be cautious too. But please no cops, it would look bad on my probation.

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 7:58

I hope to get another call from the Malcontents & Misfits of Metro this Sunday....anytime after 11:30, your time. Perhaps we could cobble together a video link-up, if this becomes a regular deal.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/8/11 at 8:01

Damn Klingons, I had to change my appearance so many times because of that half truth. It was an Orion slave girl. You hear a GIRL.

By: slacker on 4/8/11 at 8:01

Loner, if you get that many liberals in one place, a labor union is sure to burst out.
That means dues.

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 8:17

Slack....Ben Dover has threatened to attend...that should add ballast, if not balance. He wants to conceal carry @ the "meeting"....Bagelophobia, I suppose.

Orion slave girl? That would explain the belt marks. The Captain is a heterosexual abolitionist...he was saving that girl from a lifetime of miserable servitude....she expressed her gratitude...what's wrong with that?

By: Mike Burch on 4/8/11 at 8:27

Hi everyone,

It's good to see everyone pitching in and using their freedom of speech while they still have it.

The anti-gay legislation is just the tip of the iceberg. The Republican party has all sorts of freedoms and protections in its sights and is blasting away like there's no tomorrow. If they win, there may not be much of a tomorrow for our children and grandchildren. So it's up to people who believe in equal rights and our Constitutional freedoms to oppose them.

As a former Reagan Republican I hate to see the Republican party go the way of the Nazis. But any party that denies women the right to choose whether to become mothers, and that discriminates against GLBTs, Muslims, students, teachers, union members, Palestinians and HIspanic citizens ... well, what can I say?

I love America and Tennessee, and I'm not ready to emigrate just yet, so I have no choice but to speak out and vote. I think it's very important that we persuade people who don''t normally vote to do so in every election ... while we still have elections.


By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 8:28

Back to the topic of the day: David Fowler walks into a unisex restroom....

By: slacker on 4/8/11 at 8:31

wearing tap shoes

By: Captain Nemo on 4/8/11 at 8:33

Mike Burch

I have many friends that are of the Republican persuasion and have said they do not like the way party has gone.

Now what were we talking about. lol

By: gdiafante on 4/8/11 at 8:34

Nah...the GOP isn't going the way of the Nazi's...remember, they valued science.

By: slacker on 4/8/11 at 8:39

Loner, I would nominate Ben Dover for Chaplain, House_Of Pain Sergeant of Arms, you could be Secretary Of New York State.

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 8:42

Mike, when Tricky Dick went for the Southern segregationist vote, the party of Lincoln sold its soul to the Devil. The Grand Old Party succeeded in busting up the old Solid South....the slide into theocracy was inevitable.

The Democrats kiss up to the religionists too, though in a less grandstanding manner. For example, Obama increased the budget for Bush's Faith-Based Initiative. I suspect that mega-pastor Rick Warren, or a similar replacement theocrat will vet the 2012 candidates. President Obama has expanded the Holy War...Democrats are not without guilt here....Obama made the pilgrimage to the Wailing Wall and donned the yarmulke; he's got his mind right.

By: yogiman on 4/8/11 at 8:47


You are right in your statement..."while we still have election." And I don't think that issue is too far into the future, so may I add; get ready, folks.

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 8:49

I might consider the title: "Ambassador from the Empire of New York", Slack...I laughed out loud, scared my old hound for a second, when I read the tap shoe line...excellent!

If one Googles the key words, "wide stance", it is clear that Larry Craig owns it....a fitting legacy for a world-class hypocrite....it brings shame and ridicule to the Gem State.

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 8:54

For you Yogi: From an old Negro Spiritual - "People, get ready...the train's a comin'...you don't need no ticket, you just thank the Lord.....you don't need no baggage, you just get on board...."

By: ladydragyn on 4/8/11 at 8:58

Oh MIke honey, you had to come in and redirect the conversation when I was having a wonderful time reading about the Klingon lifestyle. Hey those guys are pretty dangerous aren't they? Maybe we should have a poster with a Klingon following a child into a restroom....wearing tap shoes.

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 9:01

Dover as Chaplain? Sounds good..he's a pistol-packin' preacher...a pastor packin' heat....got a right-to-bear-arms ministry....he's got Satan to defeat.

I wrote a little ditty with those lyrics (and others) and put a sax line on it....performed it once at an open mic. The "crowd" loved it.

By: slacker on 4/8/11 at 9:01

Loner, I think your assessment of both parties being guilty of lunacy & intentional gridlock, is fair and balanced...so to speak.

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 9:04

Did a semi-spit take on the image of a tap-shoe-wearing Klingon following the little unescorted girl into the lady's room....you're good, Ladydragyn....damn good.

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 9:07

Honestly, I get more laughs from the NCP online forums than I ever got with a laugh-track TV sitcom or a Hollywood "comedy". Any Amens on that?

By: ladydragyn on 4/8/11 at 9:07

>>>LadyDRagyn takes a bow<<<<, nah, it was a fluke, my morning meds just kicked in (joking) :)

By: brrrrk on 4/8/11 at 9:09

Blanketnazi2 said

"btw, I saw Donald Trump on the Today show yesterday. His politics are even crazier than his hair."

Speaking of hair, I want to see a birth certificate for that thing.

By: ladydragyn on 4/8/11 at 9:09

Amen to that Loner! and thanks for the ego boost :)

By: house_of_pain on 4/8/11 at 9:10

Puff, puff, pass, lady d...no bogarting allowed on this forum.

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 9:11

Hey it's right around 4:20 somewhere...

By: ladydragyn on 4/8/11 at 9:12

LMAO Blanket, I think that thing definately has a life of its own, I heard it was down on Nolensville road the other day, reportedly with a lady of ill repute. Alert the Media!

By: ladydragyn on 4/8/11 at 9:14

hack, cough, hack..damn that's harsh! LOL

By: gdiafante on 4/8/11 at 9:14

Trump should form the new Whig party.

The Tea party could become the Know-Nothings...

If people around here are going to act like it's the 1850's, we might as well go all the way.

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 9:15

My pleasure, Ladydragyn...I boost some egos and deflate others...it's what I do for entertainment and to keep the Oldtimers disease from taking over. I like to deflate the really big egos...the sound of the escaping gas is music to my ears, though I do not care for the odor.

By: slacker on 4/8/11 at 9:16

brrrrk, Trumps hair was born in the Galapagos Islands.

By: revo-lou on 4/8/11 at 9:16

How it that the repubs can say with a straight face that they are fighting for freedoms, as they vote to take away the rights of all of us to live as we see fit, AND prevent a city council, an ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE BODY, from implementing those rights?

It does appear to be the end of times. We have met our undoing, and it is ourselves.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/8/11 at 9:17

By: ladydragyn on 4/8/11 at 10:07
>>>LadyDRagyn takes a bow<<<<, nah, it was a fluke, my morning meds just kicked in (joking) :)

She fits right in with us without missing a beat.

By: ladydragyn on 4/8/11 at 9:18

Oh my word, hubby will come back from his morning constitution and read my posts and think I've reverted back to my teen years. lol Aren't we supposed to be bickering and insulting one another? Practically every forum I see always has some jack-wad that absoutely HAS to insult every person in the room...I'd like to seem some of those guys insult a HUGE tap shoe wearing Klingon at Comicon lol, but I digress.