Justin Jones is an American activist and politician from the state of Tennessee. He was a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives for District 52 from January 2023 until April 6, 2023, when he was kicked out for taking part in a protest about gun control at the state capitol.
Early Life and Activism
Justin Shea Bautista-Jones was born in Oakland, Calif, on August 25, 1995. He went to Fisk University and got a Bachelor of Arts. Then he went to Vanderbilt Divinity School. In 2019, he pushed for a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest to be taken down from the Tennessee State Capitol.
Jones said in 2019 that he would run against Jim Cooper in Tennessee's 5th congressional district in the 2020 election for the U.S. House of Representatives.
He didn't send in enough valid signatures to get on the ballot.
Jones was arrested in October 2018 because he would not leave a rally held by Marsha Blackburn.
In 2019, he was accused of assaulting Glen Casada, a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, by throwing a drink at him. Eventually, Casada agreed to drop the charges, though.
After George Floyd was killed in 2020, Jones led a 62-day sit-in protest for racial justice in front of the state capitol. He was put in jail, and 14 charges against him were dropped.
Is Justin Jones Gay?
No, Justin Jones is not gay. As far as we can tell, there is no proof that Justin Jones is gay. After doing a thorough search, it was concluded that there is no evidence to back up this claim. He also doesn't seem to have been in any relationships with men in the past.
It's important to respect everyone's sexual orientation, but it's also important not to make assumptions about people without proof. Based on what we know, there is no reason to think that Justin Jones is gay.
Justin Jones Got Expelled by The Tennessee Statehouse
In a rare and shocking move, the Tennessee state legislature voted to kick out Black Democratic Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson for protesting for gun control. But they didn't kick out Rep. Gloria Johnson, a white woman who had done something similar.
Jones was kicked out of office by the Republican-controlled legislature by a vote of 72 to 25. Pearson was kicked out by a vote of 69 to 26. The vote to get rid of Johnson failed, 65-30. The effort has never been done before. It needed 66 votes to pass, which is a two-thirds majority.
It also goes against democracy. Jones and Pearson were kicked out of school, not because they broke the law, but because they led student activists in chants about gun control from the House floor. In the process, tens of thousands of voters in Nashville and Memphis, which they represent, lost their right to vote.
House Republicans said that Jones, Pearson, and Johnson “knowingly and intentionally brought disorder and dishonor to the House of Representatives” and that their chants were against the rules of the chamber.
The Democratic lawmakers admitted that they did break some rules about decorum, but they said they did so to speak up for their constituents who are upset that nothing is being done about gun control.
After three children and three adults were killed in a mass shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville last week, Johnson, Pearson, and Jones joined thousands of students and parents in a march to the Capitol.
They were calling for changes to the laws on guns. At one point, Jones and Pearson used bullhorns to speak on the House floor while Johnson was with them. Because they hadn't been called on to speak, what they did was against the rules of the room.
Jones and Pearson were kicked out of the legislature, but Johnson was not. It was said that this was because of Johnson's role in the protest, and it also seems to be the latest time that white Republican lawmakers in Tennessee have gone after Black political power.
Two lawyers who defended Johnson told The Tennessean that she did not use the bullhorn to lead chants, but she did stand with Jones and Pearson to show support.
Several lawmakers talked about how racist the vote was. “What happened today has a lot to do with race, and you can't ignore that. Two young black lawmakers are kicked out, but only one young white woman is.” Pearson said when it was over.
“The racism we're seeing today! Wow!,” Democratic Sen. London Lamar wrote on Twitter.
The expelled the two black men and kept the the white woman! The racism that is on display today! Wow!
— Senator London Lamar (@SenatorLamar) April 7, 2023
The way the two black lawmakers were treated is similar to how Republicans have tried in the past to limit the political power of black people by passing laws that would gut local policies in cities like Nashville and Memphis, which have large Black populations and are run by Democrats.
The Associated Press says that only two people have been kicked out of the Tennessee legislature since the Civil War. The last person to be kicked out was Rep. Jeremy Durham in 2016, who was accused of sexual misconduct. Before that, Rep. Robert Fisher was kicked out of office in 1980 for taking a bribe to kill a bill.
Pearson and Jones are the first people to be kicked out of the state because of their political views, and they are also the only ones to have been kicked out because of a supposed lack of decorum.
Pearson and Jones could both still be reappointed, though. Now, the county commissions in both of their home counties are in charge of picking interim representatives, which they could do. There's also nothing stopping the lawmakers from running for the same seats again, though it's not clear if the Republican leadership would try to stop them from being sworn in.