House Panel Advances ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill in Tennessee

Tennessee's House Education Committee voted 8-7 to advance Rep. Stacey Campfield's (below) "Don't Say Gay" bill, which forbids discussion of homosexuality in schools. It now heads to the Calendar Committee before a floor vote, the Tennesseean reports:

CampfieldBill sponsor Rep. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, and others argued that outside groups and some teachers slip those conversations in, and the bill serves as an accountability reminder.

“I have two children — in the third- and fourth-grade — and don’t want them to be exposed to things I don’t agree with,” Hensley said. “… Even though the state board disallows this now, I’m afraid it does happen, and sex education is talked about in a way that it is acceptable.”

Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, who voted for the bill, said he’s seen documentation that outside groups are entering classrooms at the invitation of principals and teachers and not staying within the curriculum guidelines.

Schools caught in violation of the state’s sex education policies can have state money withheld, and teachers face a $50 fine and up to 30 days in jail, according to state law.

The bill passed the Senate in 2011.


  1. strepsi says

    “I have two children — in the third- and fourth-grade — and don’t want them to be exposed to things I don’t agree with”

    Wow: all the GOP’s theocratic fascism, anti-intellectualism, isolationism, and ignorance distilled into a single sentence!

    Those two kids are going to FLEE to New York or California, trust.

  2. Silas says

    also Streps and most likely one of them will be gay. someone should keep track of these kids to see if one or both turn out to be gay. Ignorance and isolation only makes people stupid.

  3. happyday says

    Those poor pathetic fools. The kids will not hear the word gay or homosexual in the classroom, but they will surely hear the word f*ggot on the playground. And the Republican tragedy rolls on.

  4. Disgusted American says

    Hey Dolly Parton – Im sure Dollywood is a Nice park, and I’ve heard Great things about it….but there is NO WAY in Hell I’d ever spend One dime of my money in such a HATE STATE! The GOP is Ruining your Tourism!

  5. Chadd says

    To expand on the great point by HappyDay, how will the teachers be able to teach that anti-gay bullying is wrong if they are not allowed to even mention it? These legislators seem to think that if they just ignore something, then it will cease to exist. I feel bad for young kids growing up gay in such a backwards place.

  6. till the world endst says

    I know this may sound bad but what should happen if this bill passes is that the kids should start calling his children faggot. Since they won’t be able to say gay they can’t stop anti gay bulling. Give him a dose of his own medicine on the cost of his own kids. I know it’s harsh to say that but I bet you that bill will get over turned when it becomes personal.

  7. Francis says

    And when people ask why LGBTQ teens and straight teens assumed as gay continue to be bullied and commit suicide in places like rural Iowa (Kenneth James Weishuhn) and other similar areas, here is the reason why. There are many awesome ideas on this website about how we as a community can do our part to change things. But the reality of the situation is, for anything to truly get better in a state like Tennessee, the entire culture and mindset revolving around homosexuality has to do a complete 180. It starts at the top and when legislators and church leaders are condemning you to hell, it’s no wonder that kids in this area pick up on that and are damaged as a result of it.

  8. Michaelandfred says

    “… things I don’t agree with.” Like science, evolution, helping the poor…. Here’s a news flash idiot, it’s public school system. It serves everyone, you know, the public. You have the choice of private or home schooling your kids if you choose ignorance over reality.

  9. Vince says

    If they want to raise their children in a separatist environment, that’s what home schooling is for. Stay out of our public schools as well as our bed rooms!

  10. says

    and when we’ve talked about “bullying” in schools, and what needs to be done…well, here we have it.

    Repubican Legislators who are insisting that they don’t want their children to be accepting and understanding of LGBT people – including their fellow students.

    once again, the GOP shows (and PROUDLY) the blood they have on their hands.

  11. H8Str8s says

    I don’t think sex education is the responsibility of the government because it is controversial. I would not want my children, if I had any, to be taught anything about abstinance which is an unnatural psychotic sex-hating practice. Equally I don’t want the children of religious people exposed to anything their parents don’t want them to be exposed to regarding sexual practices. There is no agreement on how it should be done and there is no obvious justification for the government to do it. I believe the practice of sex-education was to stop homosexaulity with those hate-filled films they showed the kids through the 50’s and 60’s.

  12. Swiminbuff says

    What a poor backward place Tennessee must be. Is this a case of too much inbreeding? Too many Republicans going to family reunions looking for wives? Do Republicans think about anything other than sex, and gay sex in particular? Guess the concept of a “liberal” education is totally lost on them. I suppose evolution is not taught in Tennessee either. Yeah, no need to prepare children to live in the real world.

  13. says

    I’m sure we’ve all had the experience at college or uni where we’ve met the children of the people that these Republican pigs are talking about – the kids that get out into the real world and are socially stunted and utterly shocked to realize that the world their parents “taught” them about out simply doesn’t exist.

    by all means, parents, raise your kids in your bubble. just realize you’re setting THEM up for social ostracizing and the eventual reality that, as parents, you were full of s**t.

  14. says

    Our Governor Bill Haslam has pushed his agenda of discrimination throughout his brief tenure in office from shooting down Nashville’s anti-discrimination laws to creating the bill banning the use of the word “gay” in public schools. He’s railroading civil liberties to the extent of making it illegal to upload a “potentially offensive image” to the internet this year. I addressed our Governor’s antics with a visual commentary of him and his wife on my artist’s blog at Drop by and let me know how you feel about our rights being infringed upon.

  15. youaintsaved says

    I live in Tennessee and I am in the minority here. Yes we have a large contingant of Bible Smacking Xenophobes. Please don’t classify all of us based on the hateful majority, they have to live somewhere! Unfortunatly we have to send our children to private (Montissori) school so they can learn to be respectful of all people from all cultures. I am positive that people from Provincetown or San Fransisco feel the same when people label them based on where we live. We all need to rise above the rhetoric and learn to live together. Yes, Joe Carr is using fear to forward the radical conservative agenda. How can you help show his constiuants he is wrong?

Leave A Reply