Radical/Progressive Queer News and Commentary
from Memphis, Tennessee
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Former Memphis Mayor Herenton (Now) Opposes Gay Rights
Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton was once a supporter of gay rights. I meet with him in 1997 as chair of the Memphis Lesbian & Gay Coalition for Justice and he expressed his strong support for gay and lesbian rights, and endorsed a city non-discrimination ordinance that would include sexual orientation. In 2000 he appeared with Judy Shepard at an event on Hate Crimes and proclaimed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Day. Throughout the rest of his tenure as mayor he expressed support of LGBT civil rights to the Tennessee Equality Project...
But now that he is running for Congress, challenging liberal Rep. Steve Cohen for the TN09 seat in the House of Representatives (formerly held by Harold Ford Jr.), Herenton is now proclaiming his opposition to gay marriage as one reason for African-American pastors and churches to support him!
In a letter addressed to pastors, former Memphis mayor Willie Herenton tipped his hand on several policy positions.
"As pastors, I hope you will join me in my opposition to same-sex marriage and the legalization of marijuana," Herenton wrote in a letter dated March 1.
"Also, please join me in the fight to keep jobs in America. Our citizens need jobs."
The two-page letter was presented Tuesday at the regular weekly meeting of the Memphis Baptist Ministerial Association.