Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Is Monroe County a hotbed for homophobia in Tennessee?
In September of 2010, Carol Ann and Laura Stutte returned home to Vonore in Monroe County, Tennessee to find their home burned to the ground in an apparent act of arson motivated by anti-gay bias. In early 2011, the Sweetwater Housing Authority Executive Director just a few miles down the road compared gay people with "drug users and sellers, gang members, prostitutes, cults, and murderers" in a letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Now LGBT students are looking for support at Sequoyah High School which is one of twelve schools in the the Monroe County School District. The students say that school officials will not allow them to form a Gay-Straight Alliance to confront years of unaddressed anti-LGBT bullying they have experienced in public school.
That's an awful lot of homophobia and transphobia for one year's time in a county of less than 45,000 people.