An outbreak of protesters first disrupted, and then caused the cancellation of Mark Pody’s (R-Lebanon) and Sen. Mae Beavers’ (R-Mount Julie) joint press conference address Tennessee’s “Bathroom Bill” and Defense of Natural Marriage Act.
Local NewChannel5 reporter Brandon Marshall recorded a portion of the disruption:
— Brandon Marshall (@NC5_BMarshall) February 15, 2017
A press conference State Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, and Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mount Juliet, was first disrupted by protesters, then cancelled on Wednesday afternoon. Some of the protesters then followed the legislators into a Legislative Plaza hallway, confronting them with slogans and critical commentary, until Beavers and Pody were escorted from the Plaza by state troopers.
The Wilson County lawmakers had announced in an email to media they would “discuss HB888/SB771 (Bathroom Bill) and HB892/SB752 (Defense of Natural Marriage Act)” at the news conference.
The “bathroom bill” would requires transgender persons to use the rest room designated for their birth gender. The “Defense of Natural Marriage Act, according to the summary on the legislative website, “states the policy of Tennessee to defend natural marriage between one man and one woman regardless of any court decision to the contrary.” Both are sponsored by Beavers and Pody.
About 100 protesters filled the seats in a House committee hearing before Pody and Beavers arrived and sat quietly, bearing signs such as ‘Flush the bathroom bill” and “No hate in out state.” When the legislators walked in, Pody began reading a statement – starting by quoting a 2006 state constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
The Tennessee Star previously reported on a forming coalition of some 70+ Leftist groups – some funded by George Soros – organizing in the Nashville area for the purposes of disrupting just these types of events.
Stay tuned for more as this story develops.