Man offended by signs complains to city

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Local resident Stan Marsh poses for a photo with a sign he feels is offensive to residents in the community who choose to consume alcoholic beverages.

For local resident Stan Marsh, signs recently placed throughout the Dyersburg city limits are simply an act of discrimination.

Several signs recently erected in the community offered messages Marsh feels are offensive to residents who choose to drink alcohol. And he found several in strategic locations he feels were designed to target residents near establishments that serve, sell or produce alcoholic beverages.

Two examples of the controversial signs include:

"Boozers are losers! Guns don't kill people - Drunks do! 12,100 deaths from guns. 75,000 deaths from alcohol. Do the Math!"


"Satan couldn't be everywhere so he created liquor stores, nightclubs and beer joints. 'And be not drunk with wine, ... but be filled with the spirit' -- Ephesians 5:18"

"The problem I have is that I should be able to drink and not be criticized about it," said Marsh, who left his favorite watering hole one evening to find a sign located just across the parking lot. "It would be different if the signs were about drunk driving. But they are not. It's just very offensive. It's discrimination against people who drink."

Another controversial sign concerning alcohol -- the last to be removed -- was located near the intersection of Lake Road and Mall Boulevard.

Marsh found signs in several locations along Lake Road and the Highway 51 Bypass. A little investigation on Marsh's part put him on the phone with the person who placed the signs. He quickly found himself in a heated discussion.

"I told him, 'I've been drunk twice this month and I haven't killed anyone yet,'" said Marsh.

Marsh is not only concerned for himself. He fears allowing the people to place discriminatory signs anonymously will escalate the problem.

"This just opens the door for any atheist to put up a sign across from a church, a vegetarian to put a sign up in front of McDonalds. ... It's a real concern," said Marsh. "Most people look at discrimination (on the basis of) race. This is discrimination against people who drink."

City of Dyersburg Gas, Water and Sewer Distribution Director Mike Morgan said he took four signs down that were placed in a flowerbed at the intersection of highways 78 and 51 at the request of a member of the City Beautiful Commission.

The rest of the signs have also been removed.

"I am pleased that they are down," said Marsh. "It just goes to show that if there is something offensive like that, all it takes is for someone to speak up."

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  • jesus first miracle was turning water into wine, and it was the 'good stuff', according to my bible. those who put up signs like this are to be ignored, but they do have a right to put up the sign. if the signs were not taken down by the owners of the property where placed, then it becomes a matter of free speech and that person is part of the problem.

    -- Posted by closerlook on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 11:24 AM
  • I think most people would want "offensive" signs removed, but then I suppose any sign could be offensive to someone. The remark, " I've been drunk twice this month" is really one to be proud of , isn't it? I would think that his odds are getting such that the rest of us better be watchful as he exits his favorite "watering hole".

    -- Posted by Dybgtaxpayer on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 11:29 AM
  • "The problem I have is that I should be able to drink and not be criticized about it," said Marsh.

    That's ridiculous! He has a right to drink (but not drive or disturb the peace) but he can't suppress free speech on the part of others just b/c he might be offended". I don't care if he drinks like a fish, those who want to speak out against it have just as much right.

    If you want to drink, go right ahead but quit worrying about those who might disagree with you. Sounds like Stan is a bit touchy...

    -- Posted by Dude2010 on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 11:39 AM
  • Wow, really? Could he have possibly been drunk when he did this? I'm offended by several things, but I ignore them! And as far as him being offended by this proves to me that the signs are probably true!! What mature, respectable person would brag about getting drunk twice. I'm sorry, but I'd prefer the community I live in to not be represented like this. So I'm offended. Grow up and stop begging for attention!!!

    -- Posted by Trusting on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 12:17 PM
  • Sounds like Mr. Marsh might be under a little conviction. I don't like all the beer signs and beer coolers in nearly every store in town but you will never see those removed. You have that mess where every little child can see it and many retailers will sell to anyone with money. NO ID REQUIRED! How about you speak up about that MR. MARSH? You should only be offended by the signs if you are a DRUNK!. If you are a DRUNK you deserve to be offended. Maybe it will keep you or the people in the car you meet after leaving your "favorite watering hole" from DYING!

    -- Posted by I_teach on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 1:12 PM
  • Oh, and shame of the CIty of Dyersburg and anyone that supported this violation of the right to free speech! I guess Mr. Marsh will have church signs and church message boards removed next.

    -- Posted by I_teach on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 1:15 PM
  • Someone always uses the old "water into wine" scripture, don't forget the one about "be not drunk with wine, wherein is luxury; but be ye filled with the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18

    -- Posted by I_teach on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 1:19 PM
  • So now the city knows that Stan Marsh is a whining loser. Mr Marsh, did they really offend you do bad that they affected your life? Really? You need to grow up.

    -- Posted by liveshere on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 2:10 PM
  • OMG, What would this world be like without all the whining crybabies.. I wish all I had to worry about was a sign someone put up. Grow up!! Probably an alcoholic anyway!! wow

    -- Posted by time2change on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 3:36 PM
  • Yes, Mr Marsh is just a bit touchy...people should be able to put up signs without a lot of discrimination hog wash...I'm sure I could find some signs that I don't like but the people who put them there has the right to say what they feel without me being so offended they have to take them down...Mr Marsh needs to get over it...go find a bottle and leave the rest of us alone...

    -- Posted by jpeery on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 4:12 PM
  • Sorry, but you do NOT have a right to never be offended. Others have a right to free speech just as much as you. If these signs were put up with the property owner's permission this is not even an issue. I am offended by things every day, but recognize the rights of others. Seems like a big fuss to appease a self professed drunk.

    -- Posted by Rufus_T_Firefly on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 4:19 PM
  • I am not a DRUNK and I wouldn't want to see those signs all over town. You people who are yapping about "freedom of speech", what if someone posted a sign in your yard or on the corner of your street, commenting toward you because you are black, white, Asian, fat, ugly, retarded, etc? Where would all of this freedom of speech talk be at then huh? And to the poster who commented about the beer signs being all over the stores, it's called ADVERTISEMENT. Yeah children see it, but if the parents have done/are doing their jobs, the kids won't pay no mind to the signs or think twice about it. Instead of these people putting up all of these signs, they should save it for church. And whatever happened to the only true judge is God?? smdh

    -- Posted by madmama420 on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 4:32 PM
  • So we're supposed to be reassured that he has been drunk twice this month & "hasn't killed anyone"?

    As for someone putting a sign opposite McDonald's or a church, so what? As long as the signs don't violate some city/county ordinance and they have the property owner's permission, so what? I doubt McDonald's is going to run to the local newspaper & whine & cry if some PETA member posted a sign nearby. It's called FREE SPEECH Mr Marsh. Maybe you ought to skip a trip to the local watering hole & brush up on the Bill of Rights!

    -- Posted by Dude2010 on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 4:40 PM
  • madmama420- First these signs are not posted on property with the property owner's permission. Second, the signs are not about race, gender, nationality or any basis of legal discrimination so stop your silly argument. It won't hold water (or beer).

    And none of those who have posted these signs have destroyed or attempted to take down legal beer signs or advertisements. They are simply making their opinion known, which is protected under the FIRST AMENDMENT. Remember that one? Mr. Marsh wants his opinion to be protected but he apparently can't handle the fact that someone with a contrarian viewpoint has the same right. Quit making this about something that it isn't.

    -- Posted by Dude2010 on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 4:47 PM
  • I`m sorry, but I agree with the signs. I think you need to know more about all the bible verses before you say any.

    -- Posted by wyvonie45 on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 5:21 PM
  • these signs must be hitting close to home dude pick your battles

    -- Posted by gazette reader on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 5:30 PM
  • OMG! We all know that Dyersburg should have signs about "CRANKSTER GANGSTERS" and "METH HEADS". Meth has devoured Dyersburg which is why I moved my family away from there. I am a Dyer County native going on 3 generations, and you couldn't PAY me to move back there. It aggravates me to see things like those signs when the community should address their REAL problem. #DCPOLICEQUACKS

    -- Posted by movingfaraway on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 9:21 PM
  • What you all seem to be forgetting is that whoever put up these signs has broken city laws by doing so. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with free speech. You need permission from the city to put up signs on city property. The person who put the signs up needs to be charged with vandalism of private property. The issue isn't free speech here. It's vandalism, plain and simple, and if Mr. Marsh didn't make a complaint about it, we're saying it's okay to put up any sign you want anywhere you want no matter what property it's on. I'm glad he made the complaint, whether it's a religious banner or not, because it's still breaking a law by putting the sign up without permission from the proper authorities. Just because it's a religious banner, doesn't give it a special "right" to be put up on the city's property by an unauthorized individual. Free speech is okay when it's on your own property--not city property.

    -- Posted by LawAbider on Wed, Aug 21, 2013, at 1:20 AM
  • Some of ya'll need to get out of the 1920's. This country has been drunk since its inception and it's not going to change. The people preaching against alcohol sound like a bunch of lily white a--holes. There is nothing wrong with drinking if it is done responsibly and in moderation. There will always be a few that get out of line but they do not reflect the majority. Geez, how can you blame a resident of Dyersburg for drinking with all the BS they have to see and listen to everyday?

    -- Posted by DireStrait on Wed, Aug 21, 2013, at 2:20 AM
  • Lawabider- the few signs that were put on property w/o permission were taken down. All of the others were perfectly legal!

    And yes the issue is FREE SPEECH! The person posting these signs has a free speech right to do so, given they have permission of the property owner.

    What you seem to be saying is Marsh has a right to defend his drunkenness but no one else has the same right to speak out against it (drinking & driving).

    As for "DireStrait":, yes, we know how long alcohol has been around: since the dawn of time. That's not the issue. No one said he doesn't have a right to drink & no one was trying to shut down liquor stores or bars. They are simply exercising their First Amendment rights to speak out on an issue. If Mr Marsh & his drinking buddies want to pay to have signs printed & posted then they can do so. Otherwise he needs to stop being so defensive & realize other people might have a different viewpoint. And yes, I drink some (beer mostly).

    -- Posted by Dude2010 on Wed, Aug 21, 2013, at 7:48 AM
  • more killed by drunk drivers than cigarette


    -- Posted by tank2 on Wed, Aug 21, 2013, at 1:39 PM
  • So concerned, 420 is actually my birth date. I always add a number to the end of my username on any site. So you do not know what in the hell you are talking about. Nothing I said was different from the subject at hand, or are you a drunkard who couldn't understand what he was reading? I gave examples of things that may offend others if you put them on signs near their homes and asked how would they like it? How was that off-topic? And when I was speaking of beer advertisements in stores and children seeing them, I was addressing the poster above me who commented about the subject. 420 is my birthday but I do know it is the sign for potsmokers but I haven't smoked pot since high school. So if you want to call someone out on something, be sure you know what in the hell you are talking about. And don't pick one person's comment to ridicule if you didn't read the posts above it to see what she was commenting on. Now you go and have a good day being a wanna be know it all hypocrite.

    -- Posted by madmama420 on Wed, Aug 21, 2013, at 3:44 PM
  • who gave mike morgan permission to take the 4 signs taken down? mr mayor, your people are interfering with the constitution of the united states. morgan should be charged with interfering or the mayor should be charged if he ordered it! very similar to these local politicians decorating their offices with campaign posters, employees wearing t-shirts, getting their qualifying petitions signed in (our) the peoples offices, and meeting in the office to discuss campaign strategy. all prohibited by the tennessee election laws!

    -- Posted by closerlook on Thu, Aug 22, 2013, at 12:53 PM
  • 1985 I was struck head-on by a man that was drunk, traveling from Ill.

    I had to have brain surgery, was supposed to be a vegetable, but here I am 27 years later still dealing with damage to my body, caused by a person who decided to drive while intoxicated.

    That man did not care who he offended,who he maimed, Mr Marsh got something done that all the loved ones who have lost loved ones from drunk drivers have as yet not been able to do.

    He got someone to pull down some signs, alos violate our rights, while we play pattycake with the drunks, wait for the judicial system to step up and make the laws stricter for drunks ! Stan Marsh you should have to visit the ones who have buried their children, spouses, then brag about how many times you have gotten drunk ! The next time I am struck by a drunk driver, I will go to jail because I will do them harm, like they have done me . My son was struck by a DRUNK ! they did nothing to him, his family was rich and knew the judge. when will we learn to stand up and be identified for what we believe in ? Marsh believes he can drink, get drunk, drive , he has gotten these signs removed, how far will we go to see our rights met ?

    -- Posted by nanaeva on Thu, Aug 22, 2013, at 2:48 PM
  • Who the hell is Stan Marsh looks like another Dburg loser its people like him that give this town a bad name if he drinking in the bars he's drugging too I hope you don't kill somebody driving drunk looks like your will known now hard to live in a small town if your not liked very much I have known a lot of guys that have had to leave this town that where just like you.

    -- Posted by xdburg on Fri, Aug 23, 2013, at 8:10 AM
  • For the Record

    The signs were NEVER placed in any Flower Bed! They were placed however where other signs have been placed numerous times. Just in the past couple of days there were a couple in the same location. But of course they weren't "offensive" or "controversial".

    The signs not only had my address on them, they also had the name of the Ministry on them (Signs of the Times Ministry), as well as my phone # and instructions that if they were to be removed for mowing purposes, TO CALL ME! I would have removed them myself. The sign in the picture [GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE, DRUNKS DO!] with Mr. Marsh is still missing. If you have possession, please send it back.

    I did hang up on Mr. Marsh after he called me while I was at work, after telling him that I couldn't talk right then and after several minutes of listening to his OFFENSIVE language and his threats.

    -- Posted by TV on Fri, Aug 23, 2013, at 4:48 PM
  • I also do not remember saying anything about "Dyersburg needs to be taught a lesson" which Mr. Marsh alleges.

    -- Posted by TV on Sat, Aug 24, 2013, at 3:58 AM
  • If people really want something offensive removed, consider doing something about the libel/hate/gossip trash site, Topix.

    -- Posted by personwithvoice on Tue, Aug 27, 2013, at 12:55 PM
  • If he is "offended" by that one sign then I'd say he's a mite touchy. Get over it Marsh & respect other people's right to free speech!

    -- Posted by Dude2010 on Sat, Nov 30, 2013, at 2:21 AM
  • This idiot ought to be given a ticket for stupidity... So ALL the LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT will be watching for this self confessed Drunk Driver leaving his favorite watering hole... WHAT A DUMB A$$... In the Mid-West there was a group of people that were bashing drunk drivers when they find them out on the road... This is how vigilantes groups are formed, Just like Dumb-A$$ like this, that think it's cute to get their picture in the paper... Give me a break...

    -- Posted by Elvin Patch on Tue, Dec 3, 2013, at 9:28 AM
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