Out actor, entertainer and LGBT rights campaigner George Takei has released a YouTube video on Tennessee’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, legislation awaiting a floor vote in the state senate that would outlaw mention of sexuality other than heterosexual marriage in K-8 schools. Takei has an alternative solution to this problem. Don’t say gay, say Takei!
And you really can buy all that merchandise with all proceeds going to charity. Click here for the website.
Senate Bill 49 and counterpart measure House Bill 229 sponsored by state Senator Stacey Campfield and Representative Bill Dunn respectively, both Republicans from Knoxville, prohibits “the teaching of or furnishing of materials on human sexuality other than heterosexuality in public school grades K-8.” The bill passed a recent senate committee vote by 6-3.
The legislation has caused a great deal of controversy, with critics saying the bill is anti-gay and may hamper efforts to combat anti-LGBT bullying. Campfield once likened homosexuality to bestiality, something critics say shows the anti-gay animus behind the bill.
Sen. Campfield, who as a Representative tried unsuccessfully to pass the bill in the House for the previous 6 years, has denied the legislation is anti-gay, saying it is designed to stop people pushing their various “agendas” in schools and that it is necessary so that “families [can] handle that issue.”
The “Don’t Say Gay” bill was due for a floor vote some weeks ago in the Senate, however a public outcry over the bill may have slowed down proceedings. That said, the bill is expected to come up for a vote any day now.
Tennessee State Representative Bill Dunn has gone on record saying that he will hold off until 2012 to push the legislation, however, it is hoped that with momentum on the bill having stalled, legislators may choose to abandon it altogether.
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