Chris Anderson's Election Represented New Era

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chris Anderson’s election was and is a major accomplishment for our city. He represented a new era. A new perspective. A renewed sense of community. Anderson was not elected because of his sexual orientation. He was elected because he offered something fresh to the constituents of District 7. 

Anderson being a gay man was no surprise to those who elected him. He made no qualms about it. There was no parade down Market Street. And he won with a sizeable majority of the votes. As a young gay man living in Chattanooga, I saw the election of Anderson as a catalyst for dialogue. It is easy to watch politics in other parts of the nation but to experience it firsthand means that a discussion I had hoped for was finally taking place. For the first time, I saw a heart-felt confrontation between Chattanooga voters with the fact that we have elected officials, co-workers, neighbors, friends, and even family members who are, in fact, gay. 

Since his election, Councilperson Anderson has exhibited great leadership skills. Not once has he shirked the responsibilities of the office he holds. He has fought for all employees of Chattanooga – regardless of their sexual orientation. It was refreshing to see the passage of the Domestic Partner Benefits ordinance on its first vote. It was exhilarating to see its subsequent passage on the final vote. Even though the Domestic Partners ordinance would not directly benefit me (I don't work for the city), I was excited to see its passage because it meant for the first time that brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and even my neighbors would finally be treated as equals. It was truly a new day in Chattanooga. It has saddened and disheartened me to see the local Tea Party and right-wing Christians working so hard to yank this stepping-stone out from under us all.

The recent announcement of the Tea Party-led recall petition has left me flabbergasted. It is clear to me that the right-wing vendetta is no longer limited to just legislation. It is now about Chris Anderson.

For what? For striving to provide equality in the workplace? For being his brother’s keeper? No, it is because Chris Anderson is gay. The victories of equality are hard-fought. Equality for our gay brothers and sisters has morphed into the civil rights movement of today. Those opposed will ultimately be relegated, alongside those who were opposed to Women’s Suffrage, the Civil Rights Act, and Loving v. Virginia, to the dusty pages of history. Which side will you be on? 

Patrick Moore

Haynes Exemplifies Effective Leadership

Our county commissioner is Marty Haynes.  Over the last few months we have been reminded that effective leadership builds trust.  Marty has kept his word to be accountable to voters and govern with conservative principles.  County Mayor Jim Coppinger’s budget was balanced with spending prioritized.  Marty joined a few other commissioners in voting for that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Banjo Boy’s Secret

There is a wonderful email now making the rounds that shows Billy Redden standing in front of the Walmart store where he now works in Clayton, Ga. There is nothing remarkable about the picture because Billy’s looks have changed considerably in the last 40-odd years. But back in the early 1970s, his face was memorized by millions upon millions of people and he was universally known ... (click for more)

Toddler Killed In Car Accident On Boy Scout Road Friday Morning

A toddler was killed in an auto accident Friday morning.  Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputies responded to an accident with injuries at the 1000 block of Boy Scout Road at approximately 11 a.m. on Friday. Upon arrival, deputies found a single car accident involving four passengers. Three of the four passengers were transported to a local hospital and the ... (click for more)

Triple Murder Suspect, Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive, Captured In New Orleans

Less than a day after being placed on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Top 10 Most Wanted list, Daniel Lee Henry was captured Saturday night in New Orleans, La.  Shortly after 8:30 CST, Henry, 38, was taken into custody without incident at a hotel by authorities from the United States Marshals Service Task Force, which includes law enforcement officers from the New ... (click for more)

Arkansas Ground Game Pounds Tennessee, 24-20

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – At least Tennessee didn’t blow a double-digit lead late. Arkansas wiped out the Vols’ 14-0 lead in the first half in front of 101,265 fans at Neyland Stadium and went on to dump Tennessee, 24-20, Saturday night in Southeastern Conference football action. It was Tennessee’s second straight loss and the win snapped the Razorbacks’ three-game skid. ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Tennessee Falls To Arkansas, 24-20