This week the Shelby County Board of Commissioners considered an ordinance that would prohibit discrimination against gay and transgender employees. The same rules would apply to contractors who do work for the county as well as private businesses in unincorporated areas of Shelby County. Alliances of disparate groups formed quickly, and their protests were loud.
County ordinance targets discrimination against gay, transgender people
On Tuesday, May 26th, a group of local pastors and protestors on both sides met for a news conference in front of the Shelby County administrative building.
Memphis pastors, county commissioner speak against anti-discrimination measure
In a vote the following day the proposed ordinance did not receive a deciding vote with the vote split 5-5 with two abstentions. The proposal will be read before the full commission on Monday where it must pass three readings to become law.
Anti-discrimination policy fails to gain majority support in Shelby committee
surprising classic example of politics making strange bedfellows, Steve Gaines was a guest on Thaddeus Matthews' radio program Tuesday afternoon. Thaddeus Matthews, for the uninformed, hosts a talk radio program on AM 990 KWAM in Memphis. No stranger to controversy, the foul-mouthed, seemingly sex-obsessed Matthews does not mind taking on many controversial subjects. To his credit he's exposed a lot of the corruption in Memphis and Shelby County government some of the local black churches.
Then he made headlines last year when he posted autopsy photos of one of the victims of the Lester Street murders on his blog. (Warning: Content, particularly in the comment threads, is likely to be offensive!)
Postmortem photos draw ire
I had never listened to Matthews' radio show until reviewing Tuesday's broadcast. I listened to most of it live Wednesday. I can only describe the man as a cross between Rush Limbaugh, Mark Driscoll, Eddie Murphy, and Charles Barkley -- loud, obnoxious, opinionated, and, I have to admit, often right. He spent the better part of Wednesday's show talking with callers about rumors regarding the sexual orientation of a number of local black pastors and church musicians as well as a lively and graphic discussion of oral sex and homosexual acts. Then he preached a little in the last hour, actually making some good points -- interspersed with a few more expletives. That's why the guy is such a enigma. He's not stupid. He says what he thinks, and he sticks with his position and defends it well, but after listening to him you experience an overwhelming need to take a shower and wash your ears out with soap.
You can listen to Steve Gaines' interview with Thaddeus Matthews here. (May take a while to load. The interview begins at 4:50 if you want to skip ahead.) There's a rather disgusting conversation between Matthews and a female caller at the beginning (which will give you a good idea of the caliber of his program and many of his callers), then the interview with Pastor Gaines in which Gaines defends his position thoughtfully and clearly, followed by some closing commentary by Matthews and a commercial that I think you'll find worth the wait.
I'm going to assume Steve Gaines has never listened to Matthews' radio program or read his blog.