Staff reports • Updated Today at 2:02 PM
Jesus, guns, and gay marriage dominated much of the Sullivan County Commission’s monthly meeting this morning, beginning with prayer and hymns and culminating in a commission vote to “support the historical institution and legal contract solemnizing the relationship of one man and one woman shall be the only legally recognized marital contract in the state of Tennessee.”
The resolution was sponsored by commissioners Baxter Hood, Michael Cole, Sherry Grubb, John Crawford, Mack Harr, Bobby Russell, and Bill Kilgore. Commissioners Eddie Wiiliams and Pat Shull said it was not an issue in which the commission has a role. Williams voted “no,” and Shull passed on the vote. Commissioner Kit McGlothlin was absent. All other members of the 24-member commission voted in favor of the resolution.
The Tennessee Equality Project issued this statement.
“The Tennessee Equality Project condemns the Sullivan County Commission’s swift passage of a resolution opposed to marriage equality this morning. The resolution passed with 20 yes votes, 1 no vote and 2 abstentions.The resolution had not been filed as of Friday afternoon. It never appeared online in any Sullivan County Government documents posted on the County’s website.
”In a questionable move, the rules were suspended at today’s meeting so that a vote could take place with little public input.We are grateful that Bristol resident and former TEP Tri-Cities Committee chair Joe Rhymer could be present to speak against the resolution. That does not change the fact that the Sullivan County Commission has done a great disservice to the public in denying a full consideration of the issues presented in the resolution. Instead the Commission has rushed the county into encouraging our State Legislature to engage in a lawless, expensive fool’s errand of defying the Supreme Court of the United States.”
In September, the Greene County Commission approved a similar resolution opposing same sex marriage.
Greene County’s resolution asks state officials to challenge the Supreme Court’s decision which legalized same-sex unions nationwide.