Knoxville City Council approves disappointing resolution

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KNOXVILLE – A promised resolution intended to proclaim the equality of all Knoxville citizens passed the Knoxville City Council last evening unanimously. The resolution was originally intended to list the groups that Knoxville welcomes as citizens regardless race, creed, color, disability, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or citizenship status.

The resolution as passed omitted the specific language aimed at placing queer civil rights as a goal for the city of Knoxville.

After an amendment offered by First District Councilman Joe Hultquist, the language intended to elevate the GLBT community to the level of all other citizens was omitted. The amendment passed by a 5-4 vote with Chris Woodhull, Bob Becker, Mark Brown, and Rob Frost voting against the amendment.

Speakers in favor of the original resolution included Todd Cramer of the local Human Rights Campaign Meetup and newly-elected board member of the Tennessee Equality Project, along with Sadia Williams of the Race Relations Center of East Tennessee and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Director Luis Velázquez.

Dr. Wai Tung “Hal” Lee has spearheaded the effort toward passage of this resolution. A grateful community notes his many hours of dedicated effort.

See the December issue of Out and About Newspaper for in-depth coverage of this topic.