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Tennessee's 'Don't Say Gay' Bill is Back, and Now Requires Schools to Out Gay Kids to Their Parents

Think Progress reports that SB234, Tennessee's 'Don't Say Gay' bill is back ,and more harmful than ever. It also contains language indicating that teachers or counselors would be required to out LGBT students to their parents.

DsgHere's the language:

The general assembly recognizes that certain subjects are particularly sensitive and are, therefore, best explained and discussed within the home. Because of its complex societal, scientific, psychological, and historical implications, human sexuality is one such subject. Human sexuality is best understood by children with sufficient maturity to grasp its complexity and implications [...]

A school counselor, nurse, principal or assistant principal from counseling a student who is engaging in, or who may be at risk of engaging in, behavior injurious to the physical or mental health and well-being of the student or another person; provided, that wherever possible such counseling shall be done in consultation with the student’s parents or legal guardians. Parents or legal guardians of students who receive such counseling shall be notified as soon as practicable that such counseling has occurred

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  1. Opposing marriage equality is one thing. Saying that schools should avoid teaching the subject of SSM is semi-reasonable (after all, the issue still hasn't been decided nationally, and it would be too easy for "lessons" to turn into propoganda from one viewpoint or another.) But tattling on gay kids to their parents? What imbecile thought of this policy? Sarah Palin?

    I don't normally sound like a certain Canadian poster from Towleroad, but his often-heard charge of "these people have the blood of gay suicide victims on their hands" is called for here.

    When I worked with teens in my previous job a young man voluntarily told me he was gay and then begged me not to tell his parents. And this was in New York City in the late 90s! I told him the information would be kept confidential. Even though my politics were not pro-gay at that time, it would never have occured to me to interfere in his family's private business (or to discriminate against this young man in any way.)

    Just unbelievable.

    Posted by: Mary | Jan 30, 2013 10:16:11 PM

  2. An aside: I had been tempted then to tell this young man that he was still very young and should not make a decision about what he is right now - that he might later on be attracted to girls and find out he wasn't gay after all. I intended to put it as tactfully as possible to avoid insulting him or coming across as anti-gay - to tell him that if he really was gay he'd know this in time. But he seemed like such a nice kid. And I didn't want to risk alienating him. In retrospect, I'm glad I didn't say anything.

    Posted by: Mary | Jan 30, 2013 10:22:21 PM

  3. f**king ridiculous

    Posted by: danswon | Jan 30, 2013 11:43:14 PM

  4. We're not doing enough as a community to tackle these cases. We're just not.
    Our gay youth are dying in vain and hardly anyone in our community and organizations are tackling this story out in TN which will absolutely result in the death of some of our LGBT youth. Where's the outrage outside of the comments section of a gay blog?!

    Posted by: Boston Dude | Jan 31, 2013 2:47:18 AM


    WTF is wrong with you?! You are one total nut job. Like Bat sh-t crazy!

    Who the heck are you to tell someone BORN gay to question it, and confuse them more. You are everything I dislike in some straight people. Why you visit this blog with your pollution is beyond me.

    Posted by: Gio | Jan 31, 2013 4:21:15 AM

  6. @ Mary
    You do really well, then make an amazingly stunningly ignorant post to further validate you kind of are a bit of a lost cause. You'd never tell a young women or man who is straight and going to a prom or school dance with an opposite sex partner to "just really give some thought to wanting to take this person to a date with you. what if tomorrow you end up being attracted to the same sex?" You consistently expose your ignorance and what's fascinating is that you can't really even recognize it. It's amazing. No offense, but I'm so thankful someone like you is not in my life. Truly.

    Posted by: Scott Johansen | Jan 31, 2013 4:23:58 AM

  7. This should outrage every LGBT organization across the country, to join forces and tackle/challenge this.

    Posted by: Bobbi | Jan 31, 2013 4:27:28 AM

  8. Guess what folks? This F***tard is not a native to the Volunteer state. Originally from Binghamton, New York, Campfield moved to Knoxville at age 25.

    Posted by: Paul | Jan 31, 2013 9:54:54 AM

  9. Gio, why are you bursting a blood vessel? First of all, this was over 11 years ago - times were a bit different then. Secondly, I didn't actually tell the young man anything, I was only THINKING about it. And third, we don't really know if he was gay, or bi, or a straight guy with an occasional gay crush (i.e. a 1 or 2 on the Kinsey scale.) You are making the assumption that this young man was BORN gay. How can we know this? Young people are often confused about their identities, sexual or otherwise. Knowing how difficult it is to live as a gay person in American society (i.e. that the culture is run by and essentially FOR straights) I was trying to spare this young man a life of difficulty.

    And Scott, it's true that I wouldn't tell a young straight person to consider whethter he might be gay. I see your point. But the culture is becoming more supportive of "straight" people who come out as gay, whereas it doesn't talk about the possbility that some who have SSM will have it only temporarily. I was only hoping this kid would not prematurely make a decision he'd regret later on.

    As for being, "hopeless" I've evolved tremendously in the past year and now make financial contributions to various gay rights groups. This after 30 years as a social conservative. I'm proof positive that even the "hopeless" can grow and mature in their thinking. And none of this is due to becoming personal friends with gay people. The only gay "friends" I have are those I correspond with on Towleroad.

    Posted by: Mary | Jan 31, 2013 7:57:21 PM

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