The odious “Don’t Say Gay” bill sponsored by Sen. Stacey Campfield (right) has moved one step closer to becoming law: Having been approved by the Senate last year, it was just approved by the Tennessee House Education subcommittee yesterday. If enacted, it would mean elementary and middle-school teachers would be banned from discussing LGBT issues in the classroom.
Writes Chas Sisk in The Tennessean:
Opponents say it will not curb talk about homosexuality among grade school kids but will send the signal that it should be stigmatized. But several lawmakers argued that it would protect parents’ right to educate their children about their beliefs on their own terms.
“The basic right as an American is my right to life, my right to liberty and my right to the pursuit of happiness,” said state Rep. John DeBerry, D-Memphis, arguing to keep the subject of homosexuality out of elementary school classrooms. “Within that includes being able to run my home, raise my children as I see fit and to indoctrinate them as I see fit.”
Next, SB51 heads to the House Education Committee, which could vote on it as early as next week and put it before the full House by the spring.
Among the most vocal opponents of SB51 have been students: The Tennessean reports several dozen Nashville schoolchildren, many wearing purple T-shirts in solidarity with LGBT kids who have committed suicide, crowded into the senate chamber on Wednesday.
Photo: Ron Cogswell