TN “Don’t Say Gay” in Schools Bill Unlikely To Get House Vote Before 2012

Tennessee State Representative Bill Dunn has gone on record saying that he will hold off until 2012 to push legislation in the House that would ban mention of human sexuality other than heterosexual coupling and marriage in school classes through K-8.


State Rep. Bill Dunn says he will not pursue passage in the House this year of a bill to prohibit discussion of homosexuality in school classrooms until the ninth grade, but Sen. Stacey Campfield says he will push ahead in the Senate.


Dunn, also a Knoxville Republican, said he is supportive of the legislation, but it is too late in the legislative session to launch a push for passage of the measure while he is sponsoring several other controversial bills. In the House, the first step toward passage would have been an approval by the House Education Subcommittee, which has closed for the year.

“Stacey waited awfully late to get started,” said Dunn.

“That’s all right with me,” said Campfield. “He always said, ‘You pass it first, then I’ll pass it.’ So, I’ll pass it this year and he can pass it next year.”

Campfield said he is optimistic about chances for passage of the bill, which has been rescheduled for a Senate floor vote … Thursday.

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.”

This comes despite the Tennessee Board of Education once again reminding legislators that there is no recorded instance of any problem relating to discussion of sexuality in schools through to K-8 and that due to the existing “family orientated” curriculum in Tennessee schools, a focus on heterosexual marriage and the nuclear family is already in place.


Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to McDowell-Craig.


pam w.
pam w5 years ago

Stacey Campfield is one sick puppy!

Lucy H.
Lucy E6 years ago

Here's a thought: if teachers cannot say "gay" and gay children cannot say "gay", then the law also ought to apply to students who bully another student whom they perceive to be gay, right?

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Ernie Miller
william Miller6 years ago

Whay are politicans even discussing what schools should teach? Teachers are required to got to school for years to learn how to teach and then take continuing classes to stay up todate? They know what they are doing. On the other hadn to be a politican all they have to do is accept money from the ritch and vote how they like. Well that and stand up infront of the public and Lie with a straight face.

Adam G.
Adam G6 years ago

I'm sure this bill is a great idea... after all, burying your head up your arse has always been the best way to increase intelligence levels.

just look at the religious reich who believe the earth is only 6000 years old. aren't they just the smartest people you've ever encountered?

(for members of the religious reich, just in case you didn't "get it", the above statements are 100% sarcasm).

Virginia C.
Virginia C6 years ago

Are you f'ing kidding me? Really? OMG, damn backward, bigoted bastards! Everyday, more and more reasons come to light that make me dispise this country and what it has become. "Land of the free" my ass!

Mrs Shakespeare
Mrs Shakespeare6 years ago

Not even Taliban dared to ban....words O_O
WOW, they are seriously messed up!

Sylvia M.
Sylvia M6 years ago

Is this the United States? Has Tennessee opted out? Are they now part of Iran and other repressive regimes?

Linda T.
Linda T6 years ago

This Tennessee congress has not done anything to help the people. Where is the jobs??? Stop the assault on our teachers, our public schools, our prison system. Where are the jobs???

Carol H.
Past Member 6 years ago

Soon before leaving your house you will have to remember your clothes on right and to make sure your gag is in your mouth so you won't say the wrong thing it seems to be closer and closer everyday.