A Metro Council member is facing sharp criticism for an article he shared on Facebook. It suggests the Boy Scouts of America organization went bankrupt because of their move to welcome gay and transgender scouts and leaders.
Metro Council Member Steve Glover is standing by it. A lot of politicians are known for speaking their opinions, and in the age of social media, many are known for posting them as well.
While this may stir up a lot of controversy, experts say this creates a necessary forum of ideas. Over the weekend, conservative Metro Council Member Steve Glover shared an article written by someone from the Family Research Council.
The article itself blames the bankruptcy of the Boy Scouts of America on their decision to welcome gay and transgender scouts and leaders. Glover’s own comments focus more on his own experience as an Eagle Scout, starting his post with: “I will remind everyone this is my personal page. I share my views and I am proud of what I share.”
Despite the disclaimer, it stirred up some negative feedback from fellow Metro Council Member Bob Mendes, who tweeted a screenshot of Glover’s post, saying: “I don’t want to be in squabbles, but that’s just not acceptable.”
Both Glover and Mendes declined on-camera interviews today, but FOX 17 News spoke with Metro Council Member Emily Benedict, who is also a member of the council’s LGBTQ caucus.
She says Glover is allowed to share his opinions on social media. She said the sharing of this article also shows that he’s willing to propagate fake news.
"We will not allow this type of rhetoric to continue without the type of behavior and response that came from Council Member Mendes, and the reason why I'm talking with you today,” Benedict said.
Ken Paulson is the Free Speech Center Director at Middle Tennessee State University. He said political speech is the single most protected kind of free speech, and for good reason.
“If you’re a politician and you are transparent in what you believe, there’s a benefit to voters, who decide they agree with you, or strongly disagree with you and vote against you,” Paulson said. “That’s really how the system’s always worked.”
A trend that he says Tennessee politicians have, and will continue to take advantage of. You may remember Council Member Glover also walked out of the meeting when Metro Council passed a resolution to condemn an anti-LGBTQ measure going through the state house in January.
At that time, he said he wasn’t comfortable discussing social issues.