Nashville’s Metro Council races are heating up, but for the most part there is little for LGBT citizens to be especially concerned about; most of the candidates have taken moderate or liberal positions on LGBT issues. However, this is not the case in District 13, where one of the candidates, Dan Meredith, has made social media posts the Victory Fund has identified as “one of the most troubling instances of homophobia we have seen” out of the hundreds of races it is monitoring. Among other things, Meredith said he would vote to put a gay newscaster to death. These comments are even more concerning considering his opponent, Russ Bradford, is a member of the LGBT community.
While Dan Meredith’s Facebook page is currently set to private, Victory Fund’s Political Communications Fellow Grace Fleming forwarded screenshots of Meredith’s posts, dating from between 2015 and 2018, which illustrate a pattern of extreme homophobia. For example, in the post above from November 17, 2015, Meredith commented on a Campbell’s soup commercial featuring a two dads feeding their son, “I just saw this commercial… WHAT?? Did I misinterpret? Nope, this REALLY was two dad’s [sic] feeding their son… No more Campbell’s for me. Now, all my lib friends explain how I’m not free to spend my money where I want to.”
Perhaps most troubling of all, on February 15, 2017, Meredith wrote about Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, who is gay, and who has been charged and put on trial, “I’m sorry but if I were on the jury for Shepard Smith I would vote the death penalty. I don’t care what the charge is. I’m just going for the death penalty, and I don’t really support the death penalty anymore. But for Shepard Smith, I’m going to make the exception.”
Again, to be clear, Meredith claims to not believe in the death penalty in principal, and Smith had not been charged with any crime, but any crime, Meredith would want to put Smith to death. For what offence exactly? “Hes a prissy homosexual Fox anchor on in the afternoon, who just drips with blatantly anti TRUMP sarcasm with every comment.” The death penalty.
On May 5, 2017, Meredith equates homosexuality with battery and theft, writing, “Homosexual activity, like battery and theft is immoral. Are not just alternate lifestyle choices. If we on the right don’t begin to take a strong stand on this, we will never recover our civilization. The homosexual lobby is out to destroy everything we stand for.”
Based on Meredith’s tweet about Smith, one can only guess what he’d consider a “strong stand” on homosexuality.
In one final example dated May 22, 2018, Meredith displays outrage that a friend of his has been placed in “FACEBOOK JAIL” for using the phrase “don’t be a f****t.” He then proceeds to rail against the fascism of this censorship and the “intelligencia [sic]” who “comb through the communication of the little folk. ESPECIALLY the ‘right wing’ and test them against the yardstick of ‘acceptable’ language. And if they don’t measure up… ‘to jail you go!’ Until they control the REAL jail… THEN where do we go, once everyone is used to the power over language being ‘acceptable’…???”
“Dan Meredith is among the most homophobic, sexist and racist candidates we have seen this election cycle – and to defeat him with an openly gay candidate is going to feel great,” said Elliot Imse, Senior Director of Communications for LGBTQ Victory Fund. “The upcoming election between Russ and Dan is about more than just a seat on the city council. It is an opportunity for Nashville to reject the politics of hate and warn all future candidates that if you attack our community, you will lose.”
UPDATE: Victory Fund provided the above screenshots directly to O&AN: no reference was made in doing so to a Scoop Nashville article in April that referenced the same screenshots. The Scoop article was primarily focused on the candidate’s racist views.