Wednesday, February 6, 2019

#2140: John Ragan

John Ragan is a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, representing the 33rd District, which puts him in the company of deranged lunatics like Kevin Brooks, Jimmy Matlock and Stacey Campfield. Ragan is famous for believing that homosexuality doesn’t really exist: “A person is a heterosexual because of the presence of genitalia of one sex or the other. No one except a very few with an exceedingly rare congenital deformity have both kinds of genitalia.” Yes, he might be confused about some details here. In 2013 Ragan sponsored a bill – described by Ragan as a “mental health” bill – that says that school officials must “notify parents or legal guardians in the manner specified by law for such a medical referral” if a child is, among other things, suspected of being LGBTQ; he did claim to not be “anti-gay”, and putting the mental-health reference together with his aforementioned denial of the existence of homosexuality, you sort of get where he is coming from. It is not a good place to be coming from. The bill was a modified version of his “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would have forbidden public school teachers from saying “gay, lesbian, transgender, or bisexual” in classrooms, a bill that drew national attention. In 2017 Ragan sponsored legislation that tried to limit the terms “mother and father” to households with opposite sex parents in a complicated effort to create trouble for gay couples wishing to adopt children.

But Ragan’s lunacy isn’t limited to anti-gay efforts. In 2012, Ragan co-sponsored HJR 587, a resolution against the United Nations’ non-binding Agenda 21 treaty, based on the hard-right conspiracy theorist fear that the treaty is a plot to establish a New World Order. He is also a firm climate change denialist, having asserted that “[t]he anthropogenic climate change theory, as a scientific theory, fails to meet criteria for explanation of all evidence, testability and falsification,” which, of course, is nonsense – not that we even for a moment would suspect Ragan of actually understanding the meaning of the terms he is using.

Diagnosis: Simply a standard, bigoted denialist and conspiracy theorist. He keeps getting reelected, though, which does not reflect well on people in Tennessee’s 33rdDistrict.

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