Haslam Signs Swingers Club Bill, Among Others, Into Law

Posted at 4:58 PM, Jun 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 02:20:50-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Governor Bill Haslam signed several bills Wednesday in a ceremony on Capitol Hill; among them, the bill that allows Metro control where swingers clubs can locate.

Most of these bills have already been signed by Haslam, but Wednesday's ceremony let a lot of people who are directly affected by the legislation meet the governor and celebrate the bill becoming law.

State lawmakers and city leaders from Madison joined Governor Haslam to sign the bill they hope will keep a swinger's club out of Madison.

Nashville Democratic Representative Bill Beck filed the measure after a swingers club made plans to move into a building near Goodpasture Christian School.

"There cannot be a social club such as this within 1000 feet of any school, church daycare or religious facility,” Representative Beck said.

Nashville Democratic Representative Brenda Gilmore said she's trying to keep the clubs away from children.

"It's going to provide a lot of protection to our young children in terms of making them see good role models,” Representative Gilmore said.

The president of the school was also on hand.

"Anytime sexually oriented businesses crop up, there is damage to property values. There is damage to just the moral fiber of the community and this is a fantastic step,” Ricky Perry said. “I don't think it's the end, but I think it's a fantastic step to move in the direction we want to move."

There was a lot of support for the murder victims photograph law.

Nearly three dozen people crowded the stage to support the right of a jury to see a photograph of a murder victim.

Jim Marable's daughter was murdered several years ago in Montgomery County.

"I went through two trials, and the jury couldn't see that beautiful smiling face of her's. They wouldn't allow it, but yet the defendant, he looked like Clark Kent with fake sunglasses. They saw him,” Marable said.

The governor also signed the bill making it a felony to kill a police, fire, rescue dog or horse.

The new law is Aron's law after the canine killed in Nashville during a bank robbery in 1998. Aron's handler stood next to the governor while he signed the bill.

"To know people have not forgotten him and not forgotten what his sacrifice was it's an awesome feeling to know people still remember,” Officer Terry Burnett said.

Right now it's just a misdemeanor to kill one of the animals. All the laws take effect July 1.