published Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Tennessee homosexual couples double over past decade

Anthony Wessels, left, and his partner, Ron Sanford, have been together for five years. / Samuel M. Simpkins
Anthony Wessels, left, and his partner, Ron Sanford, have been together for five years. / Samuel M. Simpkins
Photo by The Tennessean /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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Should same-sex couples be able to get marriage licenses?

More and more gay Tennesseans are standing up to be counted in the federal census.

And regardless of their legal rights in this state, one out of every five same-sex couples checked the “married” box on the census form last year.

“I’d love for us to be the first gay couple married in the state of Tennessee,” said Ron Sanford, a Nashville event planner who, ironically enough, spent last weekend helping the governor’s daughter with her own wedding.

He and his partner, Anthony Wessels, a Nashville librarian and musician, have been together five years and “we consider ourselves a committed couple, but we’re not married, because of course we can’t get married.”

Continue reading at The Tennessean.

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Onceuponatime said...

Homosexual marriage needs to be legalized. It is their right as citizens of the United States and as people in general. As a Christian I am appalled with the way the bible has been twisted to not allow this lovely couple to be married. I have so many friends that are homosexuals who are 100% commited, are happier, and have healthier relationships then my heterosexual friends.

September 29, 2011 at 1:49 p.m.
osama said...

sad!, BROKE BACK MOUTAIN IS ALIVE IN CHATT, WHATS REALLY GOING ON UP IN THOSE HILLS? WOW!!!

September 29, 2011 at 2:09 p.m.
Abcd12345 said...

@ Onceuponatime..

What you just said, has got to be one of the stupidest things I have ever read. How is the bible being twisted to NOT allow them to be married? Have you ever read the bible? IF YOU HAVE, you would have read the MANY verses about marriage being made for a man and a woman, how a man shall not lie with another man, and how you are NOT SUPPOSED TO ADD ANYTHING TO GOD'S WORD! What bible are you reading? Because, apparently, it is one made up by some liberal nut job, because in God's bible, it CLEARLY states that!

September 29, 2011 at 2:13 p.m.
dao1980 said...

This headline is a little misleading.

Is the number of subject couples up? Or is the number of recorded/reported/polled/surveyed, homosexual couples up... based on an increase in public interest.

And hey! Osama came back! How's that nasty little gas station treating you these days? Did the mention of homosexual activity interest you specifically? I remember that you speak often of in your rants about Liberace and pink jogging shorts.

September 29, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.
eeeeeek said...

Abcd12345 no shrimp for you

September 29, 2011 at 3:13 p.m.
Onceuponatime said...

Abcd12345, the bible also says to lock up a woman for 7 days while she has her period, do not eat shell fish, to stone children, the bible is also full of stories where incest is okay! Yes, I have the read bible; I attended a private Christian school from Pre-K to 8th grade where we had to literally read the bible every day. I have read it cover to cover more than once. I also come from a highly conservative family. I've also read the books that were taken out because they weren't to the liking of the council that put the bible together. I taken numerous bible history classes and met several preachers, pastors, fathers from all around the world. The bible is outdated, the times have changed, if we still lived according to biblical law we wouldn't have the culture with the luxuries we do now.

Also Abcd12345 would you like examples of homosexual couples from the bible? How about incest couples? Or forced marriages or polygamy? How about the ones where the women are raped and forced into shame while the men carry on with their lives? What about David and Bathsheba? He had her husband killed after all and what about all those polyamorus relationships?!

Do not use the bible to feed your hate. Don't pick and choose your verses. The problem here is we are raised with our southern hate and our preacher's bias that most of us have never truly read the bible.

September 29, 2011 at 3:25 p.m.
papergirl said...

Hey Abcd12345 I really hope you never have a homosexual child, grandchild, or any other family member as you might be forced to choose between loving them as they are or being a "GOOD CHRISTIAN" and forcing them out of your life with your disapproval and ignorance. Super happy my parents taught me to love EVERYONE and not pick and choose because their preference is different than my own. Good for you for being such an upstanding citizen and upholding the words of your untwisted bible!

September 29, 2011 at 3:41 p.m.
spendy said...

I'm not going to judge because there's only 1 judge so with that being said do as you wish on earth, but be ready for the consequences when & if you make it to heaven.

September 29, 2011 at 4:17 p.m.
osama said...

@doa1980, what a waste!! go jump off lookout mountain with a thong on! GOD dont make mistakes!! the devil invented homo,s

September 29, 2011 at 5:32 p.m.
NoMyth said...

@ Onceuponatime, and everyone: No one has a "right" to be married under the US Constitution. The Constitution does not address this topic, nor should it. Why? Because marriage is a religious rite. Our government should get out of the marriage business entirely. No marriage laws or licenses. It is just more bureaucracy.

September 29, 2011 at 7:13 p.m.
rolando said...

I wasn't aware there were 8 homosexuals in Chattanooga. How about that. When's their "Homosexual Pride" public sexcapade? Anyone know? Anyone care?

September 29, 2011 at 7:48 p.m.
conservative said...

ABCD- They know they are not Christians. Perverts always make this claim in hopes of gaining acceptance. They don't read the Bible and they don't attend a Christian church.

September 29, 2011 at 7:56 p.m.
GAIntrigue said...

The problem with Chattanooga is so many of the homosexuals are married to women. If you don't believe me, you should check out the craigslist ads in this town. I digress.

Oh, and Rolando, Chattanooga's Pride week is in a couple of weeks. Hmmm, I haven't seen any billboards this year for the events.

NoMyth, I agree whole-heartedly that the government should not be involved in holy matrimony. That should be something different churches determine for themselves. Unfortunately, there is no other way to get all the sharing of rights, privileges, and benefits with another person outside of legal marriage through the government no matter how many legal contracts is drawn up between 2 people.

Lastly, it baffles me how the public is so much more concerned over same-sex marriage and so not concerned over the divorce rate and how heterosexuals keep screwing up the institution of marriage turning into a farce at best. Maybe everyone is afraid the same-sex couples will be able to do it right.

September 29, 2011 at 8:07 p.m.
ginagirl43 said...

People who are quoting Old Testament laws maybe do not realize that the New Testament fulfills the OT laws, by Jesus' sacrifice. This places believers under Jesus' Grace. However, the New Testament is very clear on homosexuality, especially Romans. All people have to do is read the Bible.

September 29, 2011 at 8:43 p.m.
rolando said...

Pride "week"! Good Lord. Frisco SouthEast.

Open to children no doubt, right? Most especially boy-children at puberty and older?

Why the concern re: same-sex marriage, Intrigue? Seen the latest demands made of the military by the Homosexual Front, have you? Now that we have open homosexuality in the military, the Front [by whatever name] now demands open transgenders and cross-dressers. One can only guess what might be next on their agenda.

That help? It is rather simple, really...their demands never stop. Their goal is total immorality and forced societal acceptance of their deviant lifestyle as being "the norm"...and they are much more than half way there. [Yes, their lifestyle is deviant...look it up.]

September 30, 2011 at 3:48 a.m.
McRand said...

Onceupon a time said:

“Homosexual marriage needs to be legalized. It is their right as citizens of the United States and as people in general. As a Christian I am appalled with the way the bible has been twisted to not allow this lovely couple to be married. I have so many friends that are homosexuals who are 100% commited, are happier, and have healthier relationships then my heterosexual friends.”

The Bible, God’s revelation to us, depicts two groups, virgins, that claim to be His in Matthew Chap 25. One group has oil in their lamps, Holy Spirit, the others don’t. One group represents overcomers, the other group claims to be His, but are not. King David , in Psalm 51 stated “ I was shapen in iniquity, in sin did my mother conceive me”. That is the nature of man’s condition when born into this world. We have inherited hearts that are averse to the heart of our heavenly father. Then we furthermore fall under the influence of others of like condition and of various ungodly practices in our daily experiences. Of all these associations we form our habits and personalities. We become a composite of inherited and cultivated influences. “There is none righteous, no not one, for all have come short of the glory of God”. Rom.3:10. We are not to trust the impulses, habits and urges of the flesh, but St. Paul tells us in Romans seven that there is a law in our members that wants dominance wants to retain control over us, even when we strive to do right against urges and habits. When we are baptized into Christ and wish to repent of these things, we enter the “race that is set before us” Paul says (Heb 12:1). As we seek to follow the direction and correction given in God’s word, the natural heart, is always ready to overtake us and retain dominance. But God says “Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds”. Rom. 5:20. He says in John 1:12, “As many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God”. We don’t need power to be forgiven, but we very often need power to overcome the inclinations of the natural heart. We “come boldly before the throne of grace to receive mercy and grace to help in time of need” Heb 1:16. Continued:

September 30, 2011 at 6:04 a.m.
McRand said...

Continued:

The world tells us to follow our hearts, but God tells us to follow His heart. “Let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus”. And “Lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths”. When we try to take our natural born impulses and insist that we are right to follow through practicing it’s demands, and claim to be Christians, then we make a God of our own contrivance, another Jesus and another Gospel, and are surely deceived. And when we take pleasure in those (support or encourage) that do such things against which God has clearly condemned, we condemn ourselves. We are to trust God for direction, not ourselves. We surrender to His “Way, truth, and life”. We die to self daily, and take up our cross; that which crosses the affections of the natural heart, and walk in the path of righteousness that He lays out for us. By His direction and power we give up our life and take on His life. It’s a life for a life. “ He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be my son” Rev 21:7. Get in the race. The door of mercy won’t be open forever.

September 30, 2011 at 6:06 a.m.
Humphrey said...

I don't really care what anybody thinks the bible says. We have freedom of religion in this country and we do not have to agree on a religious view. We also have separation of church and state. One group shouldn't be able to use the government to impose their religious views on anyone else. Marriage is a legal contract. You can get married with no religion involved. Go to the courthouse. It is a legal contract not a religious one. Atheists can get married. Buddhists and Wiccans and Hindus can get married. It really doesn't matter one bit what someone thinks the bible says. You can use the law of the land to impose what you think the bible says on anyone else. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that homosexuals shouldn't be allowed to marry - except for some one's religious views. By definition, then, that is unconstitutional.

September 30, 2011 at 6:54 a.m.
holdout said...

If you insist on basing your life on the Christian Bible by all means do so. You might start with the passage about taking the beam out of your own eye before removing the splinter in your neighbor's eye. In other words mind your own business and leave other people alone. Worry about your own life, marriage, and family and you will be too busy to try to live other people's lives for them.

September 30, 2011 at 7:04 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

At least most of these comments are fairly civil. You should see the venom spewed by those making comments at the Tennessean about this very same story.

September 30, 2011 at 7:30 a.m.
mystyre said...

Onceuponatime wrote...would you like examples of homosexual couples from the bible? How about incest couples? Or forced marriages or polygamy? How about the ones where the women are raped and forced into shame while the men carry on with their lives? What about David and Bathsheba? He had her husband killed after all and what about all those polyamorus relationships?!

I would like to see your references and see how the Bible encourages such activities. Enlighten me...

September 30, 2011 at 7:57 a.m.
WhitesCreek said...

Odd to see the implication that some people want the state to enforce Christian beliefs. This is a stupid issue often built out of fear of one's own self and manipulated by those who seek power. Can we move on to something really important, like jobs, environmental safety, and infrastructure?

September 30, 2011 at 8:01 a.m.
Eric said...

Humphrey makes an excellent point. What difference does it make what the Bible says? We do not have a state religion. An article on Wikipedia addresses this topic and says "The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution explicitly forbids the federal government from enacting any law respecting a religious establishment, and thus forbids either designating an official church for the United States, or interfering with State and local official churches."

Marriage is a Catholic sacrament, and the government should stay out of it and grant Civil Unions that will provide the "marriage benefits." But I don't see that happening anytime soon. Regardless, if the only argument against homosexual marriage is based on Christian views, that is not compatible with the freedom of religion ideals that the United States embraces.

September 30, 2011 at 10:02 a.m.
osama said...

can men have babies? can 2 women make a baby? if it dont fit..... again GOD dont make mistakes, this is a man made act!!

September 30, 2011 at 11:05 a.m.
bryseana said...

I have a few relatives who are gay. It doesn't bother me. They're great people. What bothers me, as far as Chattanooga is concerned, is the high crime rate. A grocery store near my house has to have a security guard at all times. That's messed up.

September 30, 2011 at 11:07 a.m.
brholt1975 said...

Protect the Marital Relationship " You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14) To be a Jew or Christian you must repent and turn away from "homosexuality" Revelation 21:8. Adultery is the violation of the marriage covenant by willing participation in sexual activity with someone other than one's spouse. Since God's law santions sexual relationships only within a legitimate marriage, the command to not commit adultery covers, in principle, all varieties of sexual immorality. No sexual relationship of any sort should occur outside of marriage. That is the message of this commandment. In much of the world sexual immorality is longer regarded as a significant social evil. God, however, categorically condemns all forms of sexual immorality (Revelation 21:8, including premarital sex and homosexual relations. The Consequences of sexual sin is human suffering. Thou shall not kill The Sixth Commandment (Exodus20:13)Anyone who commits murder must be brought to justice. And anyone who nurses anger against his brother must be brought to justice. Hate is anger!!! If you want to be real Christian you must obey God's Commandments and God's Will and not your own but His will be Done on earth as it is in Heaven!!!!

September 30, 2011 at 11:22 a.m.
HiDef said...

brholt1975-

If you choose to live your life according to the bible, that is your right however, you do not have the right to enforce your beliefs upon anybody else. It irks me to no end that the fundamentalists just can't get this through their heads. You do understand that millions of people do not believe the same things that you do, don't you? I also love how fundamentalists kick and scream about muslims enacting sharia law yet if the fundies had their way they'd use the bible to write every one of our laws...

September 30, 2011 at 11:52 a.m.
rolando said...

It is not the bible-thumpers trying to force their beliefs on others, HiDef, so much as homophiles trying to force their views on the thumpers. They do this by selective judicial activism and friendly politicians...all legal, of course. But the thumpers don't like it when the government tries to force them into doing something against their core beliefs by utilizing the courts against the wishes of both the citizenry and the various Legislatures.

Marriage is not a right...it is a legal contract. As to freedom, homosexuals, and everyone else, can marry whomsoever they wish, so long as they comply with the law.

The Front just won a monstrous decision [all meanings of the word] when they were openly accepted into military service. As noted somewhere here [or elsewhere], military chaplains are performing same-sex marriages today; those marriages are completely legal and are at the federal level. Perhaps they do not yet appreciate what "federal level" means...same thing will happen when transgenders and cross-dressers are accepted -- as they will be. Then the goat-keepers will enter the picture...bestiality, per se, is not illegal now, although it used to be under sodomy laws. Other charges that really don't fit are applied, but that will fall sooner or later.

Sure hope all the homophiles here enjoy the future...you will join the ranks of the socialists who have gotten what they wanted, not what they needed, and are having buyer's remorse.

soapbox=[OFF]

September 30, 2011 at 4:30 p.m.
rolando said...

lkeithlu -- I walked away from The Tennessean forum a couple-three years ago when they changed the format from a free-wheeling one like we have to a stifled, hide-bound uber-liberal hotbed even worse than the TFP. Haven't been back since.

They always were stuck in attack-dog mode. Is slate still posting there?

September 30, 2011 at 4:37 p.m.
ginagirl43 said...

It is true not everyone believes in the Bible, but Christians have a right to cite scripture as their reference point for not condoning the lifestyle. It is also anyone's right to find the lifestyle deviant and against their beliefs, without being labeled a homophobe.

September 30, 2011 at 6:47 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Hi, rolando-hope you are anticipating a fun weekend! The comments on the Tennessean (and they get a lot!) tend to be uglier and more venomous than here at the TFP. I no longer get the print edition of the Tennessean, but I find the dual nature of the TFP more balanced (I do miss George Will, but read him at the Washington Post).

Since I live between the two cities, my community enjoys being ignored by both! PS-haven't seen a "slate". Is that a poster?

September 30, 2011 at 7:16 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

...same thing will happen when transgenders and cross-dressers are accepted -- as they will be. Then the goat-keepers will enter the picture...bestiality, per se, is not illegal now, although it used to be under sodomy laws.

I don't think bestiality is legal. I think it's considered abuse to animals, since animals cannot give consent. (though it would be great if they communicated their refusal by biting the bejesus out of the abuser.

ginagirl, you can quote scripture all you like, but there is no secular reason, and hence no legal reason, to deny gays all the same rights and privileges enjoyed by straights. You can quote scripture to say you don't believe people should drink alcohol or eat shrimp, but no one will deny others the right to do so. That you find gays abhorrent does not mean you can apply your bible to the country at large.

September 30, 2011 at 7:35 p.m.
HiDef said...

Christians have a right to cite scripture as their reference point for not condoning the lifestyle.

Yeah, I forgot, Christians have free reign to go around telling others what they're doing wrong in their lives...

September 30, 2011 at 7:37 p.m.
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