Gays Rally On Chattanooga City Hall Steps For Equal Rights

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Almost 300 people took part Saturday afternoon at City Hall in a rally in support of equal rights for gays.

The first speaker was Collegedale Detective Kat Cooper. The Collegedale Commission recently voted 4-1 to grant benefits to her and her female partner.

A number of other speakers followed, with music interspersed.

Chattanooga City Councilman Chris Anderson, who is openly gay, wants the Chattanooga City Council to pass a similar resolution.

He was among those at the rally, and he was closely followed by a Chattanooga Police officer throughout the event.

There were some protestors, including a character dressed up as the grim reaper carrying a sickle.

Charles Wysong was among those and the event, and he said he and "a number of others are serving notice that Chattanooga will not be like Collegedale in giving normal status to sodomy."

He said,  “The crux of the matter is this: Governments, like men, must decide to honor and follow God, or fight God.” 

Quoting from the Bible, he said, “God has declared homosexuality to be so unnatural that it is an abomination. ‘Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.’-Leviticus 18:22. But Councilman Chris Anderson imagines that he knows better and says that this sin should be celebrated.

“Chattanooga has no abortion clinic. The God-people of this community organized and closed the last abortion clinic more than 20 years ago, and they are certainly not going to stand by and let elected officials move us down the Collegedale-path.”

Ed Edgington, who fought in Vietnam and received a Presidential Citation with a V for valor, said, “I did not fight for this country and freedom to see our government turn and endorse a life style that leads to slavery.”  

“If our city officials try to use their power to force us to accept what we know to be against the laws of God, we will remove them,” said Johnny McCollum who said he lives in Carol Berz' district.

Ms. Berz spoke at the rally.

Councilman Anderson said afterward, "I was honored to speak at such a positive and uplifting event. There were hundreds of LGBT citizens and straight allies alike on hand to support equality, as opposed to only six protestors. The overwhelming message is that everyone deserves equal treatment under the law, and our community is embracing that fact."

A speaker at the rally said he grew up in Chattanooga and went to churches that he said "preached hate" against certain segments of society. He said he and his partner got married in San Francisco, but their union is not recognized in Tennessee.

A female musician said she is from Chattanooga, but lives in Georgia with her partner. She said they had "a Christian wedding."  


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