Live from Music Row, Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the director of Tennessee’s Faith and Freedom Coalition Aaron Gulbransen in studio to discuss the coalition’s top priorities for 2023.
Leahy: In studio, the official guest host of The Tennessee Star Report, Aaron Gulbransen and Tennessee state director for the Faith and Freedom Coalition. Big day for the Tennessee General Assembly. The 113th session of the Tennessee General Assembly convenes at noon today.
And Aaron, as the state director for the Faith and Freedom Coalition, you have an agenda that you’d like to present to the Tennessee General Assembly. What are the top two or three things that the Faith and Freedom Coalition wants to do?
Gulbransen: Reverse taxation. Just give us all money. I’m kidding. I’m kidding. (Leahy laughs)
Leahy: That’s a joke, folks.
Gulbransen: It’s a complete and utter joke. Although, I feel like our federal government owes us some remedial.
Leahy: But there is not much they can do.
Gulbransen: There is not. I’m kind of referring to this and we’ll do a full kind of marketing campaign on it. This is kind of the year of defending children. And, of course, as a note, not all legislation has been filed. Actually, a good chunk of it hasn’t been.
Leahy: And so just for our listeners, there is a shorter timeline this session for filing legislation; I think in the Tennessee House, all bills must be filed by the end of this month. Is that right?
Gulbransen: Right. And I believe, depending on which senator you talk to, it’s either the 10th or the 15th in February.
Leahy: For the State Senate. And, and that actually means if you don’t file by then, you’re not going to get the bill addressed. It’s probably a good thing to allow any legislation to go through the entire process of regular order of subcommittee, committee, and rules committee. There’s a full discussion of this.
Gulbransen: Right. And typically speaking, one of the ways it’s happened where the bills have passed and gone through the process without this, but typically speaking, nine times out of 10, if you’ve got a House and a Senate sponsor, it’ll make its way through the process in one form or another whether it gets passed or not. If you only have a sponsor in one body or the other…
Leahy: Thud. Thud.
Gulbransen: It’s more of what you call token legislation at that.
Leahy: And really if you think about it, 33 members of the State Senate, 99 of the House, if you’ve got a good idea in, let’s say in the House, you should be able to find somebody in the State Senate to say I’ll carry that.
Gulbransen: And I haven’t seen legislation on this yet. There have been discussions on it. But one of the I would say my top priority is seeing some form of legislation that will increase and amplify the fight against human and child trafficking in the state of Tennessee. As I point out so very frequently, a lot of people look at the southern border as a big source of it. It is, but it’s not.
The vast majority of human and child trafficking happens in this country within our own borders that have nothing to do with the U.S.-Mexico border. And in that realm, it’s kind of the year of defending the child. And of course, we’ve got the transgender, the mutilation bill, the banning of that.
Leahy: That will ban two things, what they call the top or bottom surgery to remove physical elements, from children. Is that age set at 18 or 21?
Gulbransen: I believe it’s 18.
Leahy: It probably should be 21. It’d be my view. Or maybe in Oklahoma, it’s 26. And I think that actually makes sense. The other element of it. So you can’t chop anything off before the age of 18.
Gulbransen: This particular issue, thank you very much, wokeism and the left has really pushed the boundaries of what we’re talking about on radio, because the phrase “chop something off” (Leahy laughs) would never have been uttered on this broadcast when it started, I’m sure, unless we were talking off with his head or something.
Leahy: It’s insanity, of course. It’s going to prohibit the chopping of things off of those that want to go through transition.
Gulbransen: That’s just a complete and utter no-brainer and a great piece of legislation written by Leader Lamberth in the House and Johnson in the Senate.
Leahy: It’s not just stopping the chopping of things off.
Gulbransen: It’s also hormones. It’s very detailed legislation. I encourage everybody to go onto the General Assembly website and look up the details.
Leahy: Do you think this will pass in both Houses?
Gulbransen: I think when the House and the Senate Majority Leader team up to write legislation, the odds are very good.
Leahy: The only caveat I would have, I would say make it 21 or maybe 26. So that’s number one. And you support that.
Gulbransen: 100 percent. Matt Walsh, of course, did a lot of good investigatory reporting at The Daily Wire.
Leahy: He lives here in Nashville.
Gulbransen: By the way, he should come on your show, Michael. He should really come on your show. I think that would do him goodwill to get the local stuff out.
Leahy: I don’t think he gets up that early. We’ll invite him.
Gulbransen: He and I are like ships passing in the night. He actually goes to one of the cigar places that I go to, which is we’re never there at the same time. Maybe he’s avoiding me. I’m kidding. Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson came out swinging this session. He’s had a number of good bits of legislation.
I encourage everybody to go look at that. But another one, in fitting with the defending the children agenda that we’re pursuing with Tennessee Faith and Freedom Coalition, is the ban on child-friendly drag shows, as they call them.
Leahy: Where are these child-friendly drag queen shows banned in this legislation?
Gulbransen: I think it’s SB 3, and basically, the short version of it eliminates anybody under the age of 18 and criminalizes if they’re allowing people into any drag queen show in America.
Leahy: By the way, 10 years ago, if you had said, hey, the left has the plan to destroy families in America, and part of the plan is to start holding drag queen shows at libraries and other public places and invite young kids there, you would have said, oh, no.
Nobody would do something as ridiculous as that. And yet it turns out to be a central theme of what the left is trying to do to destroy the family.
Gulbransen: Exactly. Another big thing that we care about is a life issue, and we want to see incentives for the government to come alongside mothers to provide help for them.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Background Photo “Faith and Freedom Coalition” by Faith and Freedom Coalition.