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Tennessee's 'Don't Say Gay' Bill is Back for Another Try

Tennessee's "Don't Say Gay" bill is back and will be discussed in Tennessee General Assembly's Education Subcommittee on Wednesday, Nashville Scene reports.

DsgNashville's Out & About Newspaper adds that it will be met by a protest:

Over 100 equality advocates will protest the so-called "Don’t Say Gay" bill (HB229) by wearing purple at a state House education subcommittee meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Organized by the Tennessee Equality Project’s (TEP) Nashville Committee, the event will bring students, parents, and concerned citizens from around the state to Legislative Plaza to show widespread opposition to a bill that continues to draw national media attention to Tennessee.

“The very existence of this bill sends a bad message about Tennessee at a time when we should look at constructive proposals to make schools safe, welcoming places for all students,” according to TEP Nashville Committee Chair Chris Sanders. “The fact that this is the one of the first bills debated this year makes the citizens of Tennessee wonder how serious our Legislature is about improving our schools.”

Check out the protest page HERE. An online petition opposing the bill is HERE.

The companion Senate bill, SB0049, passed in a modified form in 2011.

A mother's thoughts on the 'Don't Say Gay' bill, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Sadly its this crap that makes me think twice about moving home to Tenn. I left 20 years ago to escape the Bible Belt mentality, and it doesn't seem to have really gotten any better. So sad!

    Posted by: Brokebackvol | Jan 17, 2012 2:00:00 PM

  2. La Campfield is BACK!

    Posted by: STACEY CAMPFIELD | Jan 17, 2012 2:00:01 PM

  3. I loathe this bill, and I loathe the kind of politician who would write it even more. However, I will not sign a petition that describes gender-neutral kids as "LGBTQ". The "Q" stands either for "queer" or "questioning" and both labels are offensive. There is no such thing as "queer" human beings, much less children, and LGBT status is not questionable! Would we describe African-American or Latino heritage that way? Gender neutrality, like ethnicity, is inborn! When we oppose hetero-bigotry, we must be extra careful that the methods we use don't reinforce ignorance.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Jan 17, 2012 2:20:32 PM

  4. If I lived in that state I would be so pissed!!! Rather than working on creating jobs they are wasting taxpayers dollars on this nonsense!!! Vote the creeps out!!!

    Posted by: Jim Stone | Jan 17, 2012 2:24:28 PM

  5. @ Stuffed Animal: I am pretty sure that "Questioning" is meant in the sense of "unsure or questioning of one's sexuality." Not "questionable" in the sense of "of dubious value."

    Posted by: SeeingI | Jan 17, 2012 3:11:20 PM

  6. As a resident of Tennessee, I am appalled that our legislators can't find anything better to do than to resurrect this stupid bill. Shouldn't we be focusing on jobs and the economy rather than adding another tool to the bullies repertoire? It makes me ashamed to live in this state. Governor Haslam, you need to step up to the plate and talk to the legislature about this. As for me, I will exercise my right to vote and help get rid of any legislator who votes for this piece of trash that would make our kids feel unsafe in school.

    Posted by: David | Jan 17, 2012 3:56:30 PM

  7. @Stuffed Animal: A lot of kids are at a stage of questioning. Personally, I don't identify with that trajectory because I had it all figured out in kindergarten that I wanted to marry a man when I grew up; like a lot of people there was no question in my mind whether I was gay, straight or bi.
    But I've known people who hit young adulthood or even an older age and still either did not even understand the vocabulary to categorize their own orientation or had not figured out how to make sense of their own attractions or identity. Until they figure it out, those people are questioning.
    I suppose technically we could even say that any student who even has a question is "questioning."
    Example: "Mr. Johnson, I was wondering for my social studies project, in what year did the Netherlands pass its marriage law recognizing same-sex couples?"
    Mr. Johnson: "I'm sorry Johnny. I know the answer, but due to Tennessee's Don't-Say-Gay law, I can't tell you the answer."

    I don't know why, stuffed Animal, you refer to "gender neutral" kids. That's not what the bill is about at all.

    Posted by: GregV | Jan 17, 2012 11:56:37 PM

  8. @ STUFFED ANIMAL: I'm sure all the LGBT(Q) kids in TN will be really impressed with your orthodoxy.

    Posted by: David R. | Jan 18, 2012 12:21:27 AM

  9. Stuffed Animal, it may be a regional thing, but I know many young people who use the term Queer because they don't want to be labeled otherwise. Of course we have had a good laugh over the fact that by choosing a non-label label, they are still choosing a label. The point is, though, that they embrace it as a way of saying, 'You don't get to decide who I am, I do.' And if they embrace it, so do I.

    Posted by: Rich | Jan 18, 2012 8:15:45 AM

  10. High time for Tennessee legislators to know that this "don't say gay" law makes Tennessee look backward, idiotic and absurd.
    If I was a Tennessee resident, I would be embarrassed for my state.

    Posted by: Mousemess | Jan 18, 2012 10:36:52 AM

  11. Senator Stacey Campfield, the man behind the bill, on the recent media attention to teen suicides: "That bullying thing is the biggest lark out there."

    He is wrong. There is bullying, not just from other kids, but from our state Senators, too.

    Posted by: KnoxvilleSkeptic | Jan 30, 2012 10:18:42 AM

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