'Don't Say Gay' Education Bill Advances in Tennessee
Teachers can't talk about homosexuality before high school under bill
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Apr 21, 2011 4:59 PM CDT
Updated Apr 24, 2011 7:03 PM CDT
State Sen. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville, center, is sponsoring the bill.   (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

(Newser) – A Tennessee state Senate committee has passed a bill to make sure teachers don't mention homosexuality in classes below ninth grade, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. The Republican sponsor of the so-called “don’t say gay” bill got it passed 6-3 after some legal wrangling, and it now moves to the Senate floor. It states: “No public elementary or middle school shall provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality.”

State Sen. Stacey Campfield calls it a "neutral" bill and rejects claims of bias. "We should leave it to families to decide when it is appropriate to talk with children about sexuality—specifically before the eighth grade.” A member of the Tennessee Equality Project counters that it “limits what teachers and students are able to discuss in the classroom," notes the LBGTQ Nation blog. "It means they can’t talk about gay issues or sexuality even with students who may be gay or have gay family."

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Showing 3 of 156 comments
Apr 25, 2011 12:59 PM CDT
So they can't teach about homosexuality but they can teach about heterosexuality. What a load of crap. Homosexuality has been around alot longer than that silly story book. If the conservatives had their way, we would all belong to the same religion, dress the same, eat the same food, drive the same cars etc. because they can't stand anybody who is different than them. I have blonde hair and blue eyes and anybody that doesn't fit that description should be taken out and hanged period. Can you say white arian nation. HEAVY on the sarcasm.
Apr 24, 2011 10:13 PM CDT
Tennessee, the land of ostriches. If you don't talk about it it doesn't exist? And if they wanted a "neutral" bill, shouldn't it ban discussions of all sexuality, not just homosexuality? "
Apr 24, 2011 8:21 PM CDT
Just another dividing issue, from your friends at the GOP. Getting various hate groups together since 1800's.