Mother Jones voted Tennessee as the worst state legislature in the country. Thank God my organization, Tennessee Alliance for Progress, saw the writing on the wall, even before the 2012 election where the GOP won a super majority, making the Dems, at best, flies on the wall. After our green jobs bill got shot down along party lines in 2010, we packed our bags and went back to the neighborhoods. Now that the GOP has re-districted Tennessee, it will be at least a decade before the Dems can come back. So even though we can see the state capital from our backyard, we will work locally. Here's the report from Mother Jones. It's safe to say that that only jobs our legislature is going to be creating are for late-night comedy writers.
Tim Murphy of Mother Jones cited as evidence of its status Tennesssee's "gateway body parts" abstinence-only sex education program "that critics warned would prohibit almost any discussion of sexual activity during sex ed."
Murphy also cited right-wing wacko Stacy Campfield's bill that sought to prohibit the discussion of homosexuality for grade schoolers. Campfield articulated his views in a January radio interview: Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community—it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall. My understanding is that it is virtually—not completely, but virtually—impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex.
Murphy continues: Things went downhill from there. In January, GOP state Sen. Bo Watson introduced legislation designed to crack down on the scourge of transgender citizens, by introducing legislation that, per ThinkProgress, "would institute a $50 fine for anybody who does not use the public restroom or dressing room that matches the sex identification on his or her birth certificate." In April, Republican state Rep. Matthew Hill introduced a bill to disclose the names of all doctors who perform abortions in the state, along with demographic information about patients that could possibly be used to identify them. In July, the Huffington Post reported that GOP state Rep. Kelly Keisling "emailed constituents Tuesday morning with a rumor circulating in conservative circles that President Barack Obama is planning to stage a fake assassination attempt in an effort to stop the 2012 election from happening."
And Murphy didn't even mention the perennial favorite of the Tennessee legislature: guns in bars. I can't wait until January when this pack returns. I'm sure Jon Stewart will have a field day (or night, as the case may be....)
Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 1:57 PM PT: Here's a updated version of this post. Please pass it along.