RESOLUTION NO. RS2017-618
A resolution requesting the Davidson County Delegation to the Tennessee General Assembly to introduce and enact legislation to increase penalties for the desecration of places of worship or burial under Tenn. Code Ann. §39-17-311.
WHEREAS, episodes of vandalism and the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and synagogues have been reported in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; St. Louis, Missouri; Seattle, Washington; and New York, New York; and
WHEREAS, these senseless acts of violence have occurred amidst bomb threats upon Jewish community centers, including threats against Nashville’s own Jewish Community Center on January 9, 2017, and again on January 18, 2017 when 27 other threats occurred against Jewish centers across at least 18 states, according to the JCC Association of North America; and
WHEREAS, these actions, as well as other desecrations and threats against historically black churches, mosques, and other places of worship, pose a threat for all faith communities to the freedom to assemble and the free exercise of religion guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the First Amendment thereto; and
WHEREAS, under Tennessee law, the desecration of a place of worship or burial is a criminal offense, but the penalty for such is only a Class A misdemeanor under Tenn. Code Ann. §39-17-311.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVDISON COUNTY:
Section 1. That the Metropolitan County Council hereby goes on record as requesting the Davidson County Delegation to the Tennessee General Assembly introduce and enact legislation to increase the penalty for the desecration of places of worship or burial under Tenn. Code Ann. §39-17-311 from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E felony, thereby safeguarding the sanctity of these places.
Section 2. The Metropolitan Clerk is directed to send a certified copy of this resolution to each member of the Davidson County Delegation to the Tennessee General Assembly.
Section 3. This resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
Sponsored by: Sheri Weiner, Dave Rosenberg, Fabian Bedne, Jeremy Elrod, Brett Withers, Colby Sledge, Steve Glover, Anthony Davis, Jeff Syracuse, Robert Swope, Freddie O'Connell, Kevin Rhoten, Mina Johnson, Jim Shulman, Mary Carolyn Roberts, Larry Hagar, Burkley Allen, Brenda Haywood, Kathleen Murphy
|Referred to:||Rules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee|
|Introduced:||March 21, 2017|
|Adopted:||March 21, 2017|
|Returned unsigned by the Mayor:||March 22, 2017|
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