This Week in the Mercury

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Enormous Asshole Behind Tennessee's "Don't Say Gay" Bill Denied Service in Local Restaurant on the Basis of His Enormous Assholery

Posted by Dan Savage on Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Tennessee state senator Stacey Campfield authored that state's "dont' say gay" bill—which would make it illegal for teachers and school administrators to acknowledge the existence of gay students—went on the radio last week and argued that bullying is good for gay kids (because it help them "get back from that" gayness stuff), that straight people can't get AIDS, and that gays have taken over "50% of the theaters."

Last night the straight owner of a Knoxville, Tennessee, restaurant refused to serve Sen. Campfield:

You might think, given his "Don't Say Gay" legislation, that state Sen. Stacey Campfield might stay away from eateries on Gay Street, but no, yesterday he tried to have brunch at Bistro at the Bijou. We say "tried" because owner Martha Boggs told him to leave. "I didn't want his hate in my restaurant," Boggs said in a interview this morning. "I told him he wasn't welcome here. ... I feel like he's gone from being stupid to being dangerous, and I wanted to stand up to him."

Blogger Sean Braisted weighs in on the two-discriminatory-wrongs-don't-make-a-right argument:

That's a fine example of false equivalency. Stacey Campfield, who I've met, talked to, and actually kind of like as a human being, is a person of power in this state who has used said power to promote discrimination, misinformation, and outright hatred towards his [LGBT] constituents and other Tennesseans. Knoxvillains who wish to eat out have a whole host of different options from which to choose from. But Tennesseans who want equal representation and rights have only one legislature to look to. While there are many representatives, theirs, Stacey Campfield has made it a mission in his life to make life harder for those who don't fit his own personal view of "normal."

The anti-gay bigots will argue that it's wrong to discriminate against someone or refuse him service based on his sincerely held belief that it should be legal to discriminate against and refuse service to others. Maybe we need a bigot's bill of rights?


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