“Don’t Say Gay” Bill Passes Tennessee House Committee

Tennesse’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill has cleared a hurdle, narrowly passing through the state’s House Education Committee with a 8-7 vote. The bill passed in the Senate last year (and a subcommittee earlier this year), and now will head to the Republican-dominated House.

Republican gov. Bill Haslam has said he wishes the bill would just go away, but that he has no power to veto it because it only needs a simple majority to pass.

The state already bans sex education in K-8 grades, but TN Republicans don’t think that’s quite enough—they want to make it absolutely clear that mentioning alternative lifestyles to youngsters is a no-no-no.

Reports The Tennessean:

Bill sponsor Rep. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, and others argued that outside groups and some teachers slip those conversations in, and the bill serves as an accountability reminder.

“I have two children—in the third- and fourth-grade—and don’t want them to be exposed to things I don’t agree with,” Hensley said. “… Even though the state board disallows this now, I’m afraid it does happen, and sex education is talked about in a way that it is acceptable.”

Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, who voted for the bill, said he’s seen documentation that outside groups are entering classrooms at the invitation of principals and teachers and not staying within the curriculum guidelines.

One can only hope more fancy TN restaurants continue to deny service to the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Stacey Campfield. He’ll either starve or get fat off fast food.

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  • albert

    Isn’t this a violation of free speech??

    I guess the repubes don’t care for the constitution.

  • RJM

    Are Nashville, TN and St. Petersburg, Russia sister cities? If not, they should be!

  • Kam

    Being from Tennessee and still currently living here (I’m graduating from UT Knoxville next month), this makes me outraged. I’ve seen how sex education doesn’t work because it is just introduced in high school here. Out of over 300 students in my graduating class, 10 of the girls had already had a baby or were pregnant and since graduating high school a few more joined their ranks within a year or two. I support sex education happening in middle school, because the hormones are just setting in and they’ll learn a lot quicker. But you can’t stop a gay kid from being gay, you can’t stop kids from having sex if they want to. I don’t understand how some people can be so stupid to want to make this bill into a law. It’s ludicrous and for once, I agree with Haslam that I wish it would just go away.

  • Hyhybt

    @albert: The bill would ban *school officials* from mentioning it. The Constitution does not prohibit employers from telling you what you can and cannot say at work.

  • Ryan

    @RJM : Nashville is actually a pretty educated, liberal, and tolerant city. If you recall, the city passed a pretty broad anti-discrimination ordinance protecting LGBT individuals only to have the Republicans/Rednecks in the state legislature somehow repeal it. Having lived in both cities I can guarantee you that Nashville is no St. Petersburg. Please don’t confuse our blue oasis with the desert of red that surrounds it…

  • Justin

    @Ryan: Blue oasis in a desert of red sadly is an apt metaphor for so many places.

  • Diesel69

    WTF ?????

  • Continuum

    Of course it passed in the Tennessee legislature.

    This is the same bunch of Rethuglican clowns who passed a bill last year that OK’d the carrying of hidden weapons into bars. After all, what go together better than a six shooter and a mean drunk.

    Sometimes you just gotta say “fuck it”.

  • Hyhybt

    Could somebody please explain how it could be that the governor wouldn’t have an opportunity to veto this? Every state I know of follows essentially the same process as the federal government for enacting laws: the legislature passes them by majority vote, then the executive either signs or vetoes. Does Tennessee have some totally different way of doing things, or is there some special circumstance for this bill that excuses that step, or what?

  • SteveC

    Tennessee sounds like a disgusting dump (no offence intended towards dumps).

  • Hyhybt

    @SteveC: Tennessee has many fine qualities. It’s just that the prevailing attitude towards gayetc people (or sex in general, for that matter) is far from among them.

  • Hyhybt

    They also either just passed or are trying to pass one that defines holding hands as sexual activity. Logically, that means a family saying grace together before dinner is akin to an incestuous orgy.

  • Danny

    You do realize that many U.S. politicians are trying to kill off the LGBTA community anyway they think they can get away with it. Harming gay kids with laws like this is right in their agenda.

  • Dorian

    I’m from TN originally, although I’m a citizen of St. Louis now. The Tennessee veto laws are different because it only requires a simple majority in both houses to override a veto, effectively killing the governors veto power. Also if the Governor simply does not sign the bill once it reaches his desk, it just becomes law anyway after a certain period of time.

  • Hyhybt

    @Dorian: OK; that makes sense.

    (That is, it makes sense in that it explains things. That they would set things up that way, on the other hand, makes no sense.)

  • Robroberts

    I hope Tennessee rots. Teach your idiotic creationism and indoctrinate your children into religious cults and fantasy thinking. Make everyone believe this world is ruled by vengeful sky fairies and angry father figure gods. Now see how well your population can compete in reality, the place where most societies succeed.

  • SkeeterVT

    You know that Tennessee GOP has gone totally off the deep end with their right-wing paranoia over gay people when they push for a bill that so patently violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech — to say nothing of the free-speech provision of Tennesee’s own state constitution. I can’t see how it can survive a legal challenge if it becomes law.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Don’t say, “Republican.”

  • BlackRockRitual

    Darn it, South, stop doing things to try to make me ashamed.

    I would like to be proud of bein’ a southern boy, y’know!

  • Jaack65

    These are the same people who gave us the Scopes Monkey Trial. Next evolution will be outlawed again. Maybe the earth goes around the sun, too. Ask Galileo.

Comments are closed.