Phil Reese

#SSS: The Price of DOMA Defense, Chick-Fil-A, & Don't Say 'Gay'

Filed By Phil Reese | April 24, 2011 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, The Movement
Tags: censorship, Chick-fil-A boycott, DOMA, marriage, Tennessee, transgender customer

Though there will be fresh interviews every week, the SameSexSunday round table will be going Same Sex Sundayon a brief hiatus until Pride Month, so Joe and I sought to make this week's expert panel one of our best. We invited a crew of past all-stars that I think you'll love. Check them out after the jump.

Luckily, we have a brilliant crew with us, because there are some really important stories we need to dive into. This week, join us as we discuss the brutal apparently anti-transgender beating in a Maryland McDonald's and a discussion of whether or not publicizing this video is helpful. We also dissect the Tennessee Senate's "Don't Say Gay" bill attempting to silence public school employees from discussing "homosexuality" and all things adjacent in Tennessee's K-12 schools. Finally, we also go full-force at the House Republicans' incredibly expensive defense of DOMA: the legal landscape, the law firm behind the move, and what some activists want to do to send a message to opponents of equality.

We also get an update on the Chick-Fil-A anti-gay charity fiasco: is one university about to say goodbye to the chain because of their anti-gay giving?

This week we're joined by MetroWeekly's Chris Geidner,'s Michael A Jones, Log Cabin Republicans' Casey Pick and LGBTQ advocate and activist Meghan Stabler. With so many lawyers on one round table, you can bet there was some very deep discussion of the DOMA and Tennessee law realities.

Drop Joe and me a line at if you'd like to chat with us about the show, and we'll see you next week with another great SameSexSunday interview!

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In reference to the "Don't Say Gay" bill in Tennessee, I sent the following to a Knoxville newspaper on 4/23:

Letters to the Editor
Knoxville News Sentinel
2332 News Sentinel Drive
Knoxville, TN 37921

As an 80 year-old native Tennesseean now residing in New York, I am writing to address a matter supported by the state senator from Knoxville, Stacey Campfield, who is a native New Yorker now residing in Tennessee. I lived in Knoxville 14 of my years, the last four of which while acquiring my doctorate from the University of Tennessee.

An article came across my desk yesterday informing me that Mr. Campfield had sponsored a blatantly discriminatory bill in the state senate that would prohibit any discussion of homosexuality in the classroom before the ninth grade. It passed the judiciary committee with a 6-3 vote. It would seem that this “group of six” must believe that homosexuality not only can be taught, but also may be caught. Such a law would deny children questioning their sexuality any source of help in a place of learning. Heaven help us!

In the comments section below the article, there was one that included, “Well, after all, it is Tennessee. . .” and went on to denigrate the population of the entire state. I took umbrage at such an attempt to group all Knoxvillians and all Tennesseeans in the same mentality mode as the bill’s sponsor and made my resentment known in a comment of my own. Knoxville in particular and Tennessee in general are filled with fair-minded people who, I believe, would be up in arms over such a law’s being enacted in their great state.

Further checking on Mr. Campfield, I discovered that he is 42 years old, never married and not actively pursuing a one man/one woman relationship. “It will happen if it happens,” was his attitude in response to an interviewer’s question about whether he planned to wed. It reminded me of my own experience of being deeply closeted while serving as a Southern Baptist minister for 12 years. I was “too busy with my calling to marry.“ In all my years prior to my coming out I did things that would divert attention away from me so that my sexuality was never subjected to scrutiny.

Could it be that is what Mr. Campfield is doing? If he attacks gays, then surely he would never be thought of as “one of them.” Since he fought for this bill unsuccessfully in the state House for a number of years, I have concluded that I think Mr. Campfield doth protest too much. I would not be the least bit surprised if one of these days he becomes the next politician with a “wide stance” in an airport restroom.

Theodore W. Hayes, Ed.D.
Kingston, NY 12401

Sorry to hear you guys are going on hiatus, boys. Hope you come back soon and stronger than ever

We'll be back very soon! Don't worry, though. We'll still have weekly content from now until Pride month--just no round tables!