Here’s a big ol’ shocker. An anti-LGBTQ Tennessee state representative (with an out gay son!) has resigned amid allegations he had solicited sex from men on Grindr! And –are you sitting down?… he’s A REPUBLICAN!
Yep, Rep. Bill Sanderson said Tuesday he was leaving office to spend more time
“on his winery business and with his family.”
(Yeah, more like drinking wine alone, I’ll bet. Sorry…)
He resigned Wednesday but a Tennessee political blogger is alleging that during his entire time in office, Sanderson has been
“soliciting sex with much younger men on Grindr.”
Cari Wade Gervin reports at her blog, The Dog and Pony Show,
“Sanderson has voted in support of almost every anti-LGBT bill that has made it to the House floor. Despite having a gay son with a longterm partner. Despite sending sexually explicit messages and pictures to men almost 40 years his junior.”
Sanderson has denied all the allegations and Given says that he begged her not to run the story,
“I know the ethics of outing can be icky. But I have long agreed with Dan Savage, the advice columnist and alt-weekly editor (who is also gay). He has written many times that it is not only acceptable but necessary to out closeted politicians who regularly cast anti-LGBT votes.”
According to Advocate,
Sanderson in 2011 voted in favor of legislation that barred cities from adopting LGBTQ-inclusive antidiscrimination ordinances and nullified one that had already been enacted in Nashville, she reports. In 2016 he voted to allow licensed therapists to turn away LGBTQ clients and anyone else who offends their religious beliefs and he signed on to a resolution denouncing the Supreme Court’s 2015 marriage equality decision.
This year he had a mixed record on a series of bills that Tennessee LGBTQ activists dubbed the “slate of hate.” He supported a bill requiring the state’s attorney general to defend school districts that establish restroom restrictions for transgender students and one that would allow adoption agencies, even if they receive state funding, to turn away prospective parents because of religious objections. He did oppose the adoption bill in a committee hearing, however, Gervin reports. He abstained from voting on what activists called the “business license to discriminate” bill, which would prevent the state and municipalities from considering a company’s antidiscrimination policies when awarding contracts. None of these measures have become law.
And it doesn’t stop there. He also voted for an “indecent exposure” bill, which has become law, and was largely aimed at trans people, according to activists. (But the most awful anti-trans portions were removed before its passage.)
“During many, if not all, of these votes, Sanderson has been on Grindr (and possibly other apps). In a Grindr profile from 2013, Sanderson, calling himself ‘Brian,’ describes himself as being in an ‘open relationship.’”
She also describes explicit text messages and nude photos on Grindr, which he denies sending. A Tennessee TV station interviewed a young man who said Sanderson hit on him at his winery several years ago, but the station decided to kill the story.
“Sanderson, again, denies any of this has ever happened. He says it is all a political hit job.”
Gavin says she will publish a post with Sanderson’s rebuttal.