Tennesee Bill Model for U.S.Congress And Nation -"Don't Say Gay"
Tennesee Bill Model for U.S.Congress And Nation
'Don't say gay' bill clears Senate panel
After some convoluted maneuvers, a (Tennesee) Senate committee Wednesday approved a bill that will prohibit teachers from discussing homosexuality in kindergarten through eighth-grade classrooms.
The measure (SB49) is sponsored by (Tennesee state) Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, who unsuccessfully pushed the same idea - nicknamed the "don't say gay" bill - for six years as a member of the state House before he was elected to the Senate.
As introduced, the bill would have put into law a declaration that it is illegal to discuss any sexual behavior other than heterosexuality prior to the ninth grade.
But when it came before the Senate Education Committee, Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, contended current law already prohibits such instruction by deeming it a misdemeanor to teach any sex education that is not part of the "family life curriculum" adopted by the state Board of Education.
Tracy proposed an amendment to rewrite Campfield's bill to require the Board of Education to study the issue and determine whether any teaching about homosexuality is occurring and, if so, recommend what should be done about it.
Campfield contends homosexuality is being discussed in classrooms. Spokesmen for the Board of Education and the state Department of Education told the committee they are unaware of any such activity.
The Tracy amendment passed over Campfield's objections.