Tennessee State Senator Paul Stanley
stepped down as chairman of the state Senate's powerful Commerce,
Labor and Agriculture Committee Wednesday amid allegations of a sex
scandal, My Fox Memphis reported.
In March, Stanley, a Republican from
Germantown, joined Representative John J. DeBerry Jr., a Democrat
from Memphis, in introducing a bill that would ban unmarried
couples from adopting. The regulation would have effectively
outlawed gay and lesbian couples from adopting since Tennessee law
defines marriage as a heterosexual union.
Neither lawmaker has spoken publicly
about his reasons for sponsoring the legislation, saying only that a
loving married couple provide the ideal home environment for
children. (“When you're married,” Stanley said, “there's a
“If a member of the public would like
to know my reasons, they can contact me, come into my office,”
DeBerry told The Tennessean. “We will shut the door, and I
would be happy to share my reasons.”
But supporters of a similar measure
that passed last November in Arkansas have been more vocal about
their motives. The Family Council Action Committee urged passage of
the unmarried adoption ban to “blunt a homosexual” agenda, the
group said on its website.
Stanley, a champion of family values,
stepped down as chairman following the revelation that he was the
target of an alleged extortion plot.
Reports indicate that Joel Watts
threatened to expose Stanley's extramarital affair with
twenty-two-year-old intern McKensie Morrison, a student at Austin
Peay State University.
Watts, a former boyfriend of Morrison,
threatened to make public nude pictures of Morrison allegedly taken
inside Stanley's Nashville apartment if he was not paid $10,000.
Stanley, 47, contacted the Tennessee
Bureau of Investigation and wore a wire to an April meeting with
Watts where he paid Watts the money for a disc that contained the
In a statement, Stanley said:
“Unfortunately I am the victim and a witness to crime in an ongoing
investigation. At this time, I have been advised by authorities not
Watts appeared in court Monday to face
a charge of extortion.