FAMILY VALUES? Bulso Fights for 1st Cousin Marriage 🤨


Common sense is in short supply in Tennessee these days. We don’t have to tell you that. Still, you would think a bill that bans marriage between first cousins would be uncontroversial in this day and age.

Well, you would be wrong. Not in Tennessee. Not under this Republican supermajority.

Darren Jernigan’s bill passed with full support in committee. Even Gino Bulso, who for some reason thought it wise to admit his grandparents were first cousins, supported it.

But something happened between committee and the floor that changed Bulso’s mind. Perhaps a fond family memory? Whatever it was, Bulso suddenly decided the bill was a bad idea, and fought hard to kill it on the house floor, even using law legalizing same-sex marriage, which he opposes, as an argument to keep first cousin marriage legal.

CLEMMONS did well to keep a straight face as he said: “Mr. Speaker, I move to table the amendment that would allow 1st cousins to marry.” 🤦🏻‍♂️

It was quite a sight to behold. Bulso’s colleagues struggled to keep straight faces. Parkinson failed, telling us “That was ballsy Bulso’s gonna break the Internet again.”

The lobbyists in the rotunda were seized with fits of laughter watching Bulso try to make his case.

Eventually it passed with an overwhelming majority from both parties, however Monty Fritts joined Bulso in opposition, and 9 other Republicans decided to abstain. 

The headlines Bulso’s crusade to save first cousin marriage is generating are frankly just amazing.

Needless to say, it will be an awkward Thanksgiving at the Bulso house this year. But congrats to Bulso & the TN house GOp on making it into Newsweek🤦🏻‍♂️

What a week. Session is almost over, but our work will continue. Please consider helping us holler about it all by chipping in monthly.  (or on SQUARE) 

The Holler


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TN STUDENTS TO GOV. LEE: “Veto the arming teachers bill… we are hurt by this..”

SENATOR LAMAR: 🗣️ “Teachers don’t even want this. This bill is dangerous… look at that gallery. Those mothers are asking you not to do this.” With a baby in her arms. Powerful. But every Senate Republican voted yes anyway, as troopers dragged out the moms above.

Williamson County School Board Member 👇🏽

YARBRO“Shame on us, Mister Speaker.” The arming teachers bill passed the Senate on party lines with Republican support, as Mcnally had parents removed from the balcony and Yarbro & the Dems said it isn’t what most Tennesseans want to keep kids safe.

Former Williamson County School Board Chair 👇🏽

Covenant Dad on the arming teachers bill👇🏽

It’s not what people want

🔥 JONES: “This stifles speech. People here are upset young people are asking deeper Q’s than your generation. I hope one day they replace you all.” – Justin Jones opposed Ragan’s bill— pointing out he grew up in “divisive” segregated schools, and the truth must be taught.

Tennessee headlines just from today

“NUTS.” — that’s how Dems caucus chair John Ray Clemmons responded to this bill letting 18 year olds open carry assault weapons👇🏽 Not only are Tennessee Republicans not listening to the people in the wake of Covenant, they’re going the other way.

“VOTE THEM OUT!” CHAOS ends committee after Lamberth & Farmer conspire to refuse a roll call vote on the Fritts bill allowing open carry of assault weapons & lowering the age to 18. Republicans making up rules as they go. Not democracy.

Q: “Do we need 18 year olds walking around open carrying assault weapons?” FARMER (R): “Probably not.” In a moment of honesty the Civil Justice chair admits his concerns about the bill he voted for— but doesn’t regret ducking the voice vote that led to the eruption.

POWELL: “I’m at a loss— we’re putting the worship of the gun ahead of the love of people.” Jason Powell opposed the Fritts bill for open carry of assault weapons as young as 18. Lamberth 🐔made Farmer duck 🦆 a roll call vote. The audience erupted. Senate Republicans then passed an arming teachers bill.

TN MOMS: “Elections are coming up, girls… democracy in Tennessee is on life support.” TN Moms react to an emotional committee ending abruptly when Farmer & Lamberth ducked a roll call vote on Fritts’ open carry of assault weapons by 18 year olds bill.

To recap…

HEY GINO: “Is the ‘Baby Olivia’ anti-abortion video you just forced into Tennessee schools indoctrination?”
Sponsors Bulso & Bowling say no — Senator Heidi Campbell disagrees, saying it’s part of a theocratic Christian Nationalist agenda taking hold in Tennessee (+ 🇺🇸)

NASHVILLE SCENE: “Local OB/GYN says the most egregious issue in the video is how it measures the timeline of pregnancy… They’re trying to ‘teach’ human development but they’re just teaching false embryology.”

What it actually looks like. Little different than the baby Olivia video.

TN PARENTS:  “Parents’ rights should be parents’ rights for all parents — the @TNGOP supermajority are hypocrites.” TN parents call out the hypocrisy of Faison’s “Parents Bill of Rights” as Republicans force kids to watch anti-abortion videos, attack trans kids etc.

CHALKBEAT hears what we’re hearing – Lee’s vouchers are hanging by a thread: “Lee’s push to create a statewide school voucher system is running out of time as Republican lawmakers work to reconcile significantly different proposals.” – KEEP CALLING.

And on and on 💰

HOMESCHOOLERS AGAINST VOUCHERS: “Taxpayer💰should not fund private education… (vouchers) are not conservative. We consider it educational welfare.” “For Your Children” ministry homeschoolers “fundamentally oppose” @GovBillLee’s voucher scam and the inevitable strings that come with vouchers.

DEBERRY PAID OFF: “Are you familiar with the segregationist history of vouchers? How much is @govbilllee paying you?” After being booted from the Democratic Party, ex Rep. John Deberry now helps Lee push his voucher scam — and Lee gives him ~$18,000/month in taxpayer dollars for it.💰

UNION BUSTIN’ GUV: Anti-Union is anti-worker, Gov Bill Lee. You’re the one making the “big mistake”.

❤️ MUST-WATCH: “I am fully unionized… my life changed… I have things I never thought I could.”
As Gov Lee union busts in Nooga— HAYWOOD, TN folks have their lives changed by union work & Biden’s $9.2 BILLION Blue Oval investment.

“AN UNPRECEDENTED BILLION-DOLLAR CORPORATE TAX GIVEAWAY”: Dems sound the🚨 as Republicans (+ Johnny Shaw) gleefully hand billions to corporations based on a nonexistent lawsuit— yet cry poverty over feeding kids in schools, expanding health care, etc

SHAW: “Get out of my face!” Rep Johnny Shaw (D) loses it on us & calls for a trooper when we ask why he was the 1 Dem yes vote on an unnecessary billion-dollar corporate tax handout. (Also: the attack on the human rights commission, Sexton’s rules, badmouthed the Justins, etc)

SUING THE STATE: “We urge the court to use its authority to stop the suffering pregnant patients are enduring.” TN women denied abortion care are suing the state over its (no real exceptions) ban, for putting their lives in jeopardy. #ForcedBirthState

A NATIONAL ALARM: This week BLOOMBERG and THE GUARDIAN both sounded the alarm 🚨 about Tennessee local outlets should have been sounding a long time ago. Either you’re calling it out or you’re helping to normalize it. There is no third option.

WATCH: “Be truthful, not neutral.” – Kanew holds a 1-man protest as The Holler is kept out of Speaker Sexton’s public press conference yet again, while the rest of local media again says nothing. Also denied access to the House floor, where the Dems held theirs.

LYIN LIZZETTE: The “Public Higher Education Fee Waiver” Lee’s TN Ed commissioner #LyinLizzette Reynolds signed, which very clearly says she committed perjury when she claimed to have been employed 6 months. In bold letters.

WARNER: “She needs to step aside… the damage is done.” Republican Rep. Todd Warner calls on unqualified commissioner Lizzette Reynolds to resign after she repeatedly lied to get free tuition (aka perjury). Lee’s pick has been a trainwreck.

CARTOONS OF THE DAY #ForcedBirthState #Eclipse

 ⚡️Please consider chipping in monthly  to support our hollering.  (or on SQUARE & CASH APP: $TNHoller) 🔥  Get your holler hat here.

Alliance Bernstein Employee: “AB Doesn’t Deserve LGBTQ+ Ally Praise After Silence On Bills”

I work at AllianceBernstein, an asset management firm that moved here from NYC a few years ago. Recently, AB was silent on the TN legislature attacking/targetting the LGBTQ+ community. After much outcry, they finally decided to address the issues through a Q&A with the CEO (questions developed by the Diversity Equity & Inclusion team, no questions from the audience allowed). It was an absolute disrespectful disaster that I wish I had recorded (they did not record or broadcast the event for employees working from home or other locations to listen in).

There were around 150 employees present. Here are the most upsetting comments made:

  • The CEO made several jokes in attempts to lighten and diffuse the situation. One example was saying the COO wanted to move to Nashville to be a country music star. It was so disrespectful to take a subject that directly impacts the safety of his employees and make it a little comedy show for his own benefit. The laughter from the audience (most-likely people who found out about the event and showed up for face time with the CEO) was shocking.
  • TWICE while he was being asked questions from the 2 panelists, he reached over and grabbed one of their water bottles and read the label on it out loud. I couldn’t believe how rude he was, like he was bored of the subject.
  • When he was asked “if you knew then what you know now, would you have still moved the firm to Nashville?” And he said absolutely and it was a good decision (I get saving face, but still not the answer I would give my employees who are scared and hurting).
  • A few phrases he used that were appalling included “some people decide to love someone of the same sex”
  • When speaking on his refusal to allow AB to make a public stance or even an internal stance on the legislature: “I am the CEO of this firm and I will never risk the business’s success” then went on to compare this to not allowing investors to invest in nuclear energy. NOT THE SAME THING IN ANY WAY.
  • Another justification of not decrying the legislation was “there has always been a divide in this country, even in NYC”. Pretty sure if I applied this mindset and didn’t improve an out-of-date process that causes risk to the business because “that’s how it’s always been” I’d get in trouble.
  • When he did say that his employees need to respect their LGBTQ+ colleagues, he included employees “who are pro-life, have different faiths, and hold the convictions of God”
  • He also boasted that he rehearsed with the panel 11 times, and I have no idea how the DE&I team let him speak knowing he was going to make these comments.
  • And to top it all off, there were refreshments provided like it was a fucking party or something!

I have never, ever felt more disrespected as an employee. I know I am lucky to never have experienced something worse by an employer, but a large company that brags about their diversity and inclusion to attract diverse talent should never treat their employees like this once they’re in the door. The event made the situation so much worse. I have several colleagues who attended and they all feel the same way and we’re shocked that people were laughing along with him. The people who were laughing were clearly not queer employees and shouldn’t have taken up our space where we were supposed to address our serious concerns that the state is targeting us.

I would like to draw attention to this as AB claims to be an inclusive employer and has received a 100 on the HRC Corporate Equality Index for Best Places to Work. They do not deserve this. Additionally, they need to be pushed to pull their booth from the Pride festival this year and make a donation instead. If they don’t, the Pride chamber should expel them from participation.

It’s outrageous to show up in OUR space to market for OUR business and then refuse to support us as their employees. They cannot pick and choose what to support and voice their opinions on based on what the public might think.

Lastly, they are up for a couple of LGBTQ awards that they should be disqualified from:

If they get this award for 2023 I would want to know how after saying they would move to Nashville knowing their employees and their families would be unsafe.

They are also up for Business Resource Group of the year at work he TN Pride chamber and should be removed from the running there as well. They had the audacity to email employees yesterday asking us to vote for them.

This Alliance Bernstein employee asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation.

Anti-LGBTQ Tennessee Lt. Gov. McNally Comments On Racy Instagram Pics of Young Gay Male


UPDATE TO THIS STORY: Lt. Governor Randy Mcnally has issued a statement blaming us for calling out his hypocrisy – but, importantly, not denying he’s the one who made these comments, not claiming he was hacked, and not blaming an underling. You can watch our interview with Franklyn, the man in the pics, here. Or listen to the PODCAST.


Tennessee is currently leading the nation in anti-LGBTQ hate, with 26 anti-lgbtq bills moving through the legislature. Last week Governor Lee made national news for quickly signing a cruel trans youth health care ban, and the nation’s first drag show felony bill, which threatens to lock up drag performers.

What made the bill even more absurd was the revelation that Governor Lee himself had dressed in drag, on a school campus, in front of minors, back in 1977.

Drag for me, felony for thee.

Lee’s hypocrisy made him a laughingstock, even getting him sent up on Saturday Night Live.

Well hang onto your hats, folks, because it turns out Lee isn’t the only huge hypocrite at the highest levels of Tennessee’s government.

Enter Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, who it turns out has been openly leaving heart emojis and other encouraging comments under very racy pics on the instagram page of a young gay male aspiring performer named Franklyn McClur, who grew up in Knoxville – McNally is from Oak Ridge, but represents parts of Knoxville, where he lives with his wife Janice. They have 2 adult daughters. Mcnally is Roman Catholic.

We were alerted to the pics by an anonymous twitter user who came across them – someone who knew of Franklyn and was entertained by his page. They sent us screen shots and told us where to find them. We were in disbelief.

Sure enough, there they were – and still are, at this writing: Visit Franklyn’s page here under the moniker “@FranklynSuperstar”

McNally repeatedly used his VERIFIED account to post underneath some of Franklyn’s raciest pictures. McNally is apparently very big on heart and flame emojis.

Underneath a few Franklyn and McNally exchange comments, seeming to know one another. McNally even calls Franklyn by “Finn”, his nickname, which is not mentioned anywhere on his page, and speaks to a definite familiarity between them. (Franklyn says they have never met in person)

Knowing McNally would surely claim to be hacked when we posted about this, we decided to call up Franklyn to hear the details from him directly.

Franklyn is currently 20 years old. He grew up in Knoxville (which McNally represents parts of), but no longer lives there. He says he and McNally became friends on Facebook through mutual friends a few years back, and that McNally got Franklyn’s Instagram from there and has been commenting for a while now.

About his pictures, which are revealing, Franklyn says “My body is art, I like to use it the way god intended.”

Franklyn told us he always found it a bit random that the Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee was commenting on his page, but since he’s not a political person he didn’t make the connection that McNally was simultaneously helping to spearhead a deeply anti-LGBTQ legislature which is pushing the most anti-LGBTQ bills in the country.

About the way McNally posted on his page, Franklyn told us he has never taken what appears to be flirting seriously. “I just thought he was older and out of touch. I’ve always taken it as a compliment.  I don’t dislike him or think he’s a bad person, he’s one of the only people who has consistently uplifted me and made me feel good.”

But when we told him about the drag show felony bill, and the anti-trans youth health care bill, and so many of the other bills snaking their way through the Republican supermajority-led legislature, Franklyn agreed that was wrong, saying “It’s wrong to ban drag, wrong to ban anything that isn’t hurting anyone. I don’t support hate of any kind.”

We asked Franklyn if at any point he thought McNally may have been hacked. And he said the thought crossed his mind, but that since they had become friends back in 2020 he (understandably) assumes McNally’s team would know by now if that was the case: “They would be aware by now if he was hacked. It’s evident he’s not hacked.”

It’s worth noting the comments McNally made on Franklyn’s page stretch back months ago. Add that to the fact that Franklyn says he has been messaging with McNally for years, and let’s just say if this is the work of hackers, they’re the most patient hackers ever.

The main point Franklyn wanted to get across was that he has no animosity towards Randy McNally. “I don’t hate him. I don’t dislike him. I don’t have a negative opinion on him. I’ve had a transformation since we started talking — I was more christian, now I’m more not christian. We were friends back before I was more openly myself. Before I was posting things more mature… If he’s hitting on me it’s real out of touch hitting on me.”

Franklyn’s appreciation for McNally is clearly genuine. But while McNally may be supportive of Franklyn, when it comes to the LGBTQ community in Tennessee, he is anything but.

As with the governor’s drag past, the hypocrisy on display here is, yet again, jaw-dropping.

We don’t judge Randy for liking Franklyn’s pictures. In fact, we’re glad he does. We just wish McNally and Tennessee Republicans would stop the hate and treat everyone in Tennessee’s LGBTQ community in the supportive way Lt. Gov. McNally treats Franklyn on Instagram.

Instead, Tennessee Republicans have made hate their #1 priority this session to distract from all the different ways this TN GOP supermajority is failing our state, with outcomes at the bottom in poverty, violent crime, health, per pupil spending, and so much more.

The hate is simply a distraction they use to cling to power, and they don’t care what it does to our most vulnerable communities. What a better state we would have if we all accepted each other for who we are and supported one another.

Speaking of support, Franklyn adds that he would appreciate any support y’all are willing to give him on TIK TOK or better yet VENMO @Franklyn-McClur, as he’s currently working on making his way out to Los Angeles to become, in his words, “the next Doja Cat” (he also wanted to send a shout-out to Justin Bieber, and to let record labels know they should all feel free to contact him!)

Also feel free to support our friends at the Tennessee Equality Project who fight the hate McNally supports HERE, and CHIP IN to help us Holler HERE.


Below is a letter sent by the father of a 23 year-old trans son to Tennessee Republican legislators. His family was among those who testified in hearings at the state legislature in an effort to stop the trans youth health care ban from moving forward this week. So far, it has not slowed the bill, which will be on the house floor this week. Call your reps.
I am the dad of a transgender 23 year old son.  I am here to tell you I did not accept my child being transgender.  We fought, my wife and I came close to divorcing over it.

But in hindsight I WAS WRONG.  And you passing this law without making exception for hormone blocker and hormone therapy is wrong too.  Parents and medical teams, along with their children, must make these decisions.  This is a medical condition, not a fad, or trend, as I once believed.

My son’s brain, chromosomes or hormones do not match his reproductive system.  His life has been extremely difficult with Trauma, bullying, physical and sexual abuse and constant depression, anxiety and self harm and suicide attempts.

Once he got on hormone treatment, that all went away.

It wasn’t until then that I realized this was a necessity for my child to survive.  We have worked through our differences and he gave me the honor of giving him his new first name.  I struggled with pronouns and just never saw him as a boy until others started recognizing him in public as a boy.  People that didn’t know him.

When I realized the rest of the world saw our son as he felt inside, I was thankful that he had the ability to live his authentic life.


All of the medical associations including World, American medical, American Pediatric, American Psychological, American Therapy and American Endocrinology all find these treatments are ABSOLUTELY appropriate, reversible and life saving in some cases.

Therapy doesn’t always work, nor do antidepressants.  Approving this bill in its current form will cost lives.


Retired US Navy, US Army


We spent 12 minutes talking to Rep. Leatherwood, whose bill to give a special marriage license to straight people went globally viral because it also might have legalized child marriage if it hadn’t died.

We may not have made much progress, but it was an honest frank discussion and we thank him for talking to us.


As the Maury County Holler reported this week, rumor at Mulefest on Saturday was Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles would NOT be running for both re-election and the open TN-5 congressional seat, but would instead be relinquishing his hold on the mayor’s office to focus on the crowded circus of a TN-5 primary.

Word was the Maury GOP would then throw their weight behind former TN House GOP Rep Sheila Butt for mayor.

Well, the Maury Holler appears to have been correct. Butt has just posted a picture of herself dropping off her petition to run for Maury mayor.

This is noteworthy because even in a party that has come to stand for anti-LGBT hate, anti-Muslim hate, and, yes, racism, Sheila stands out from the crowd.

Butt’s anti-LGBT hate is blatant and right out in the open. Would you like some examples, with receipts? That’s what we’re here for. Let’s begin…

She has said homosexuality is a “slippery slope” to pedophilia and a “godless” “horrific” “immoral” culture:

She told Maury County residents to steer clear of downtown Columbia because of a PRIDE block party:

She even put her name on whatever the hell this is:

BUTTT it isn’t just about her hatred for our LGBTQ brothers & sisters.

She is also deeply anti-Muslim, and once even called for Christian and WHITE organizations to form in opposition to CAIR.

She’s also as anti-reproductive freedom as they come, advocating for the ban of all abortions without exceptions for rape, and even going as far as to say most instances of rape are “not verifiable” – a comment for which she was admonished by one of her Democratic House colleagues:

And if all that wasn’t enough, Butt once openly disparaged the idea of interracial marriage in her book, saying women who date outside of their race are often less desirable to those of their own races afterwards:

And these are just a few of her greatest hits. There is undoubtedly plenty more.

In today’s GOP, does harboring racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, anti-woman views count as baggage? Or is that, in fact, her qualifying resume?

Judging by the word that the party is already in the tank for her, we probably have her answer.

How can LGBT people, Muslims, People of Color, women – or anyone really – feel safe in the community knowing Butt is their mayor? Is being this hateful what Maury County is looking for in a mayor? We hope it isn’t. We fear it is.

Ogles was hateful. Butt may somehow be worse. We have to be better than this.

And we truly hope other members of the media, particularly in Maury County, will remind people what Butt is really all about.


Highlights from our first ever TENNESSEE HOLLER FEST, featuring inspiring voices from across the state lifting up the issues we face – including STELLA PARTON, JUSTIN JONES, REP. JIM COOPER, REP. STEVE COHEN, THE EQUITY ALLIANCE and much more.

Here’s a quick highlight reel.


Lee Gives Non-Answer on LGBTQ Curriculum Opt-Out Bill

HOLLER to Governor Bill Lee: “You said you’ll support the LGBT curriculum opt-out bill…would you support a bill that requires teachers to warn parents if they plan to mention black people? Jews? Do you see the moral issue there?”