Metro Weekly

Memphis radio host makes homophobic comments targeting gay City Council candidate

Victory Fund calls Thaddeus Matthews' comments on Council candidate Davin Clemons "bigoted" and "repulsive"

Davin Clemons – Photo: Facebook.

Thaddeus Matthews, a Memphis-based radio radio talk show host, is being condemned by the LGBTQ Victory Fund for homophobic comments he made that appear to disparage gay Memphis City Council candidate Davin Clemons.

On his radio show Monday evening, Matthews said he was only interested in the 2019 Memphis mayoral race and would be “very active” in the District 6 City Council election, where Clemons is running. Matthews effectively threw his unofficial support behind Edmund Ford, Sr., one of five other candidates seeking the seat, saying Ford was a “family man, a man that has a wife, has children.”

“A man that loves his wife. And his wife is a woman,” added Matthews. “She’s a woman.”

“A man who has worked in the past for the district. A man that ain’t a kiss-ass to nobody. A man that will fight for the people of District 6,” Matthews said, promising to “look for the dirt” on the other candidates, “if there is some, that’s worthy.”

“Everybody know that his biggest candidate — and I ain’t got the list of the candidates with me — the former pol– well, he is a police officer. Everybody know…and we ain’t gonna hold that against him. It is Clemons?” Matthews continued. “He’s homosexual. He’s out the closet. So it’s no secret. I’m not going to hold him being a homosexual against him.

“But where did he come from? What has he done in the community? … Homosexuality is not against the law. And I don’t want you not to vote for somebody because of their sexual preferences,” Matthews said. “They do all of that in the bedroom. Hmmm. Unless you got a record as a police officer of fraternizing with other men while on the job. We’ll save all of that for a later date.”

Clemons serves as the LGBTQ liaison for the Memphis Police Department. There have been no accusations of misconduct made against him.

Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, the president and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, condemned Matthews’ comments in a statement.

“Thaddeus Matthews’ bigoted attack on Davin is both cringe-worthy and insidious — an unsubtle and failed attempt at doublespeak that insults the intelligence of his listeners and the people of Memphis,” Parker said. “But the most repulsive moment in his diatribe is when he attacks Davin — a police officer who risks his life for his community — with a vague and false accusation for which he offers zero evidence.

“He is attempting to exploit the tired and homophobic stereotype of gay men as sexual predators, but we have learned these attacks are increasingly rejected by voters in Tennessee and across the country,” Parker continued. “Matthews is a charlatan going after ratings through provocation. It will not stop this historic LGBTQ candidate who spends his days going door to door to speak with voters about how to uplift and unite Memphis, not divide.”

Watch the clip of Matthews’ comments below:

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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