Hypocrite of the Week

ketronThe world according to Tennessee state Sen. Bill Ketron: It’s okay to let local communities make their own decisions when it comes to deciding who can sell what, but it’s not okay to let local communities make their own decisions when it comes to deciding who can employ whom.

How else to reconcile Ketron’s views on discriminating tastes with his views on discrimination? Discussing his proposed legislation allowing voters in individual municipalities to decide whether to allow wine sales in grocery stories, Ketron told a news conference that “This bill puts the decision directly in the hands of the voters, where it belongs.”

Yet Ketron cheerfully voted with his fellow state house bigots back in 2011 to pass Senate Bill 632 as a way to bar local governments and local voters from outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation. Cloaking their anti-gay animus in a business climate pretext, the “Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act” was pitched as something needed to help businesses enjoy regulatory consistency. Though pushed by the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, SB 632 was opposed by a number of large corporations.

For Ketron, selling hooch is an issue you put “directly in the hands of the voters, where it belongs.” Expanding and defending individual rights, on the other hand, is something he’d rather take from the hands of the voters, where it doesn’t belong.

A version of this post appears on the Nashville Scene‘s Pith in the Wind blog.



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