Tennessee Republicans Condemn Their Governor For Having Gay And Muslim Employees

Republican legislators in Tennessee are circulating a resolution that would condemn their own party’s governor, Bill Haslam (R), for choosing not to fire a gay person on his staff. The resolution, which has been signed by nine country Republican chapters so far, would also denounce the Governor for keeping a Muslim woman in his employ, and for not supporting two highly conservative pieces of legislation.

Haslam did not hire the Muslim or gay employees. Rather, he simply kept them on the payroll after a change of leadership.

The Tennessean obtained copies of the counties’ nearly-identical resolutions, which say Haslam has “forced this GOP organization to lose the confidence in our Governor during an election year.” One of the reasons listed for why Republicans have lost confidence, it continues, is that Haslam allowed “openly homosexuals to make policy decisions”:

According to the Tennessean on January 15, 2012, Governor Haslam admitted to retaining 85% of the Democrat Governor Phil Bredesen’s Executive Service Employees.

One of the latest Executive Service Employees has included Samar Ali, an expert in Shariah Compliant Finance which is one of the many ways Islamic terrorism is funded. She is also a one-time Obama appointee and her family has a long history of supporting the Democrat Party.[…]

Allowed and retained openly homosexuals to make policy decisions in the Department of Children’s Services.

Some of the county party leaders have since equivocated a bit on the language used in the resolutions. Talking Points Memo, which spoke with one of the county GOP chairs, reports that the man refused to comment on the line about “openly homosexuals.” According to TPM, he said “I don’t know how to respond appropriately to that one.”


Haslam has been minimally supportive of the LGBT community in his state; he opposed the state’s controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill (but supported an abstinence-only bill that had the same effect), and protected LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination policies on college campuses in Tennessee. But the Governor is far from a gay rights’ activist — he opposes marriage equality and thinks a non-discrimination requirement for employers is a regulatory burden.