Students, Alumni Want Sen. Stacey “Don’t Say Gay” Campfield Cut From School’s Hall Of Fame

Students and alumni at Vestal High School in Tennessee New York are outraged that a portrait of State Sen. Stacey Campfield hangs in the school’s Hall of Fame.They can’t believe the school system would celebrate the guy who introduced Tennessee’s “don’t say gay” bill, called bullying “the biggest lark out there,” dismissed AIDS as a “gay disease” and claimed the virus was introduced into the human population by “one guy screwing a monkey.”

Go figure. (Did we mention Campfield is 44, unmarried and twinkles when he smiles? Just saying.)

So, the group petitioned the Vestal Board of Education to have the picture taken down and Campfield, who graduated in 1986 and made the Hall of Fame in 2008, stricken from the honor rolls.

But at a meeting last week, the board said it disagreed with Campfield’s position, but respected his first Amendment rights and wouldn’t drum him out. Many in attendance disagreed with the call:

“If I as a teacher spewed his homophobic rhetoric, I would be fired on the spot,” said John Perricone, a Vestal Class of 1977 graduate who has taught at Maine-Endwell High School for 29 years. “If the students of your school made the comments, they would likely be suspended.”

Connor Henderson, currently a junior at Vestal High, told the board he was “disgusted that a person like Campfield would be considered a shining star.”

Superintendent Mark LaRoach said he believed Vestal students were informed enough to challenge Campfield’s rhetoric without it being officially censored: “It’s certainly something we take seriously [and] I think our students are well-prepared to handle this.”

In an email to the Press & Sun-Bulletin, Campfield said his detractors were welcome to their point of view, but he was standing by his homophobia. “While I do not hate them I do not support sodomy. The homosexual lifestyle is dangerous and deadly.”

This isn’t the first time Campfield’s hateful remarks have cost him: Earlier this year Bistro on the Bijou owner Martha Boggs denied the senator service at her Knoxville cafe. “I didn’t want his hate in my restaurant…,” she told reporters. “I feel like he’s gone from being stupid to being dangerous, and I wanted to stand up to him.”

We’re glad more people feel the same.

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  • Palto

    What a closeted gay guy. Yuck.

  • Steve

    Of course the portrait will be removed, right after Stacey Campfield is caught with a male prostitute. The biggest anti-gay hate always seems to come from the closeted gays, who use the anti-gay rhetoric to hide behind.

  • Colin

    Actually Steve, he represents what the majority of people feel about gays. They just keep it to themselves. It’s so typical of childish liberal gays to claim anyone who strongly opposes homosexuality must be closeted. Come up with some new lines.

    And yes his portrait has every right to be there.

  • Steve

    If someone has the budget to underwrite the project, queerty could probably get lots of stories and readership by offering a reward for outing gay-hating politicians. Various newspapers have done things like that in the past, often with surprising results.

    The gay-hating part would have to be demonstrated by an official act, such as sponsoring an hateful anti-gay bill. The reward could scale depending on the position. Something like: $100 for a mayor; $200 for a state representative or state senator; $500 for a US Representative; $1000 for a US Senator or state Governor. Extra bonus could be awarded for things like an actual photo of the guy with male prostitute, in a ‘compromising’ position.

  • James

    There are an awful lot of folks, like Campfield but too numerous to name here (some of whom also post on Queerty), who routinely make uninformed, mis-informing, oppositional, and blatently false statements about my brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ2S community while insisting they don’t hate us. But it is clear that they DO hate us, and the question must be asked: “If this emotional attitude that prevents you from identifying truth, and feeling compassionate one-ness with all humanity, is NOT something you would identify within yourself as ‘hate’, then what would you call it?” I think that these people are fooling themselves (at our expense) and trying to appear more detatched from their base emotions when they say that they don’t hate us when clearly they do. They try to remove ‘hate’ from the equation so that it will appear that they have arrived at these opinions through sober thought – so that it will appear that they have somehow applied ‘reason’ to arrive at their stand vis-a-vis the gay community. But reason and sober thought are absent from these statements, replaced with assumption and prejudice and (not so) thinly-veiled fear and disgust. For such a person to insist that they feel no hatred when they make these statements just makes them look stupid and cowardly. “Love the sinner but hate the sin” is a tremendously popular recipe for denial and it fools no one but the person whoo says it.

  • Jarod

    Just a note, Stacey Campfield is a senator from Tennessee, but Vestal High School, his alma mater, is in Vestal, New York. Aside from that little tidbit, great article. As a friend to a lot of alumni of Vestal, I truly hope they succeed in getting this idiot out of the “hall of fame”

  • Chris

    My mantra
    Queerty, hire an editor.

    Vestal high school is in vestal, NY, not in Tennessee. The person in question graduated high school in new York, and later bacame a legislator in tennessee.

    Why can’t Queerty ever get the basic facts of any story correctly?

    You guys really have to hire someone to do some basic fact checking for you.

  • Chris

    Obviously then the headline is incorrect, TN students have nothing to do with it, it’s NY students trying to get him removed from their hall of fame.

  • Hyhybt

    Really… it depends on what sorts of things qualify someone to be put into the hall of fame in the first place, and whether this would have disqualified him at the time. And who even knows that.

  • Jorval

    I know this guy. His Dad owned a racetrack and I worked with him several summers and he graduated a year after me at Vestal (which is in NY NOT TN).

    His paretns are pretty tolerant and his Mom, who taught P.E. at the high school is beside herself over this.

    That being said, I know at least six different guys that Stac was “involved” with, including one who he practically stalked and never seemed to get over (Maybe that’s why he’s still single?)

    If the media were to investigate him better, I’m sure he’d be yet another Republican hypocrite with skeletons in his (ahem) closet….

  • 1equalityUSA

    Jorval, Thanks for posting. It helps me understand that this may be symptoms of self-hatred. John Boehner is next. The dude is so latent.

  • dvd-junkie

    @Colin: Well, honey, fortunately recent polls show that anti-gays are in the minority.

  • dvd-junkie

    Don’t get fooled by the “sparkle” in his eyes. That’s just the sun shining through his hollow skull.

  • jeremy

    @Jorval: Jorval, I want every detail you got about this guy. The way this guy express his self-hatred is so mind-blowing.

  • Dan Avery

    The post has been updated to indicate the correct state. There is a Vestal neighborhood in Knoxville, TN, which is where I though the school was located. Thanks to all for the polite clarification.

  • Nisha

    Thank you so much for sharing this story Queerty! As a Vestal student, it is extremely frustrating to see how little headway this campaign is gaining with the Board (although many members in the community have taken up the torch along with us). We really need as many supporters as we can get- so if you believe this bigot needs to be ousted, PLEASE sign our petition ( and share it with your Facebook friends, put it on your tumblr, tweet about it, whatever. Strength in numbers and publicity will probably be the only way to convince the Board of Education that he doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame!

  • MAP


    You speak for no majority I know of–unless it’s a majority of you.

    No reasonably scientific or academic study that I know of supports your ridiculous contention. If one does, then I would bet it was funded by the American Family Assoc or NOM or some such numb nut hate group.

    No, go spew your goproud crap in a vomitorium where it belongs.

  • Colin

    @MAP: If it wasn’t the case then there wouldn’t need to be a gay rights movement now would there? And the majority of the world bans homosexuality and same-sex unions using the same beliefs that Campfield has. You are living in a fantasy world.

  • Geoff

    @Colin: Oh, Please. Go away. You are making a fool of yourself.

  • Jorval


    What do you want to know?

    The guy is an idiot, but if you want info, let me know….

    I use this same nickname on aol, so hit me up.

  • Chuck

    I totally thought that photo of him was Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Where do you guys get these gnarley pictures of these freakers. The above shot looks as though he’s a character actor (perp) on Special Victims Unit. The yellow teeth and insane eyes have SVU all over it.

Comments are closed.