‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Approved by Tennessee House Panel

Rep. Stacey Campfield's disgusting 'Don't Say Gay' bill, which forbids discussion of homosexuality and anything but “natural human reproduction science” in public school before the ninth grade, has been advanced by a Tennessee house panel, The Tennesseean reports:

CampfieldThe House Education subcommittee approved the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill on a voice vote Wednesday, renewing a debate that roiled the legislature last spring over whether elementary and middle schools should be allowed to initiate discussions about homosexuality.

The panel accepted the version of the bill that passed the state Senate late in last year’s session.

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 Tennessee Equality Project condemned the bill again last month:

“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.”

You may also recall that its author, Campfield, was thrown out of the Bistro on the Bijou restaurant by its owner Martha Boggs.

Campfield also came under fire for ignorant remarks he made in an interview with Michelangelo Signorile in which he called the bullying of gay teens a farce and made false assertions about AIDS.


  1. Adam says

    Please tell me this is a joke. Two steps forward (Marriage Equality in Washington) and now one huge step back, DON”T SAY GAY, because you know if you don’t say it that means it does not exist.

  2. MarkUs says

    I had to look at what the “purple ribbon” could mean. Wiki lists more than 20, including “Religious Tolerance” “Anti-Gay Bullying” and “Homophobia”, which can be ruled out here.

  3. GeorgeM says

    Another republican / republican state blanking the community. Another wake up call. Their dirt bag gov will sign it, no GSA’s in the middle schools?
    What a joke

  4. says

    If it weren’t for that whole slavery thing, we should’ve just let the South secede…

    Hey Texas, if you’re still planning on leaving, can you take the rest of the knuckle-draggers with you?

  5. V-8 says

    I know this is impossible, but I wish every single LGBTQ person left TN for a whole month, almost like a flash mob on reverse, or a temporary gay rapture, (even including the closeted ones), and see how the place would function…

    bet they’d want us back, and everyone that left would not want to go back….

  6. SFshawn says

    The irony is too classic.
    The state of Tennessee and it’s ignorant bigoted southern backwoods lawmakers and it’s bible thumping citizens continue to pretend gays don’t exist while on the same day 2,300 gays are reported to have been married in New York in less than a year!
    There are MILLIONS of gays on this planet and we are not going anywhere.

  7. Gregv says

    @Alexander: I’ve sometimes wondered what would have become of the Confederacy if the two sides had just made a neat separation. I suspect the South would now be a lot like some of the under-developed banana republics.
    The North wouldn’t spend billions year after year subsidizing the lifestyles of such large swaths of areas with regressive politics. Without all the regressive politics, the streets woud be as safe the are in comparably-developed countries and equal civil rights for everyone would have been achieved long ago.
    My roots are in the South and when I go to a place like Tennessee, it’s still astounding the uninformed things that regularly come out of people’s mouths.
    That’s what happens would lawmakers’ ideas of “education” is to make laws that try to ensure that kids WON’T understand issues.

  8. Tom in long beach says

    Sounds like this whole state could end up having the same problems that occurred in Michelle Bachmans old school district.

  9. Boone68 says

    This is almost the same policy that is responsible for the epidemic of teen suicides happening in the Anoka-Hennepin school district in Minnesota except that theirs came out of District policy rather than state law. I think a state law reflecting these harmful policies will be even more devastating to gay teens. Any lawmaker that supports this will be responsible for the deaths of Tennessee’s children. History has shown that, with policies like these, children will kill themselves in even greater numbers. The Justice Dept needs to step in BEFORE what is happening in Minnesota starts happening in Tennessee.

  10. Mequet says

    I would just like to remind everyone that not all Tennesseeans are unintelligent, ignorant, and bigoted. There are many of us here doing our absolute best to turn the tide. We’re working really hard to kill this bill and while it’s discouraging to see it advance, we’re still doing everything in our power to fight it. I was in Nashville for this hearing yesterday and testified about why the bill is harmful and marginalizing. So please don’t lump us all together.

  11. says

    how about a “don’t say Jews” bill? you know, to protect the right of those religious parents to keep their children in the dark about cultural and religious diversity?

  12. Ryan says

    As a gay native Southerner who has spent several years living in the Pacific Northwest, I can say I prefer the South any day. Yes, I will admit that the government in the South is about as regressive as it gets (though not all of them) but the people of the South are passionate, our cities are liberal, and people here work very hard to make things better. When I was in Portland, I overheard more racist, homophobic comments and conversations and got called a faggot by complete strangers on the street WAY more than I ever have in any Southern city (and I have lived in 4 different Southern cities). So stop painting with your broad brushes and get out and live a little. I am currently in TN, and no, I don’t love it, but this bill does NOT represent how the majority of Tennesseans believe. I can say that unequivocally. Every state is backass and Republican when you get out of the cities. All of them. It just so happens that the South has more rural areas than most states. That’s really all it comes down to.

  13. GeorgeM says

    Ryan I hear what you’re saying, and some dems will vote for this to like the guy in the article.
    What pisses me off is that in a way it’s tolerated, these people get voted in over and over. So if you can over look something like that and vote for him what does that say?
    And I mean both parties
    For me, I’ve lived both north and south, I’ll stick with the north but to each his own.

  14. Brian says

    Please don’t over generalize about the stupidty of Tennessee! There are thousands of normal, out gay men and women in Tennessee, including elected officials, doctors, lawyers, teachers and business people. As in most states, the major cities are welcoming places for gay and lesbian people to live. Neither Tennessee nor the South has a monopoly on stupid politicians and stupid voters. Remember that a (slight) majority of Californians voted for Proposition 8! So please don’t use this story as another excuse to bash all of the millions of people who live in Tennnessee. Many of us are as embarassed by these yahoos as you are…..

  15. GeorgeM says

    I’m not trying to come off as bashing, ct has its share of a$$ holes. I just wish the good hearted folks would get together and vote them out.

    Do you think he’s gay? If he is I wish some one would out him :-)

  16. Mark says

    If I were a gay a parent and my child was attending a school there I would encourage my child to discuss our family..Then when the school tells he/she that they can sue the school and state for violating my child’s first amendment right of free speech

  17. Travis says

    Ya know, I live in Tennessee and I am an educated, gay man. I love my state. I don’t agree with what’s going on in the legislature and I don’t like a lot of the regressive ideas politicians and some average citizens here have, but I want to stay and make a life better for myself and other LGBT Tennesseans. Why, you might ask? BECAUSE THIS IS MY HOME! So, all you snotty gays in your ghettos can stop ragging on my state and your perception of its shallow gene pool and backwards views. If you are so concerned about this topic you can put your energy into doing something positive like putting national on the politicians in this state perpetuating this trainwreck of a bill instead of being catty and snarky. Thanks!

  18. DRG says

    I think it is rather funny how many of the followers of this blog like to bash the south and ALL of the people who live there as if the other parts of this country aren’t the same. There are many socially liberal or at least socuially moderate educated people in the south. The states are just bigger and have more rural populations.

    I’m from Houston, went to school in Austin, and now live in NYC. Though I love NYC, I actually find the northeast to be worse than the non-rural south. Native New Yorkers from upstate, Long Island, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx are extremely homophobic and have no qualms voicing it. Leave the cities and go to any other parts of NY, Conn, Penn, NJ, Mass…they all seem just like the hicks from the small town south. In NYC I find that the liberal and open-minded people I meet on a regular basis are actually transplants from other states…a lot from areas that everyone seems to bash (South, Midwest, etc…). Just look how long it took a democratically controlled state like NY to actually pass marriage equality. Should have been easy with so many liberal and open-minded people right? Not so much.