TN Governor Intervenes Over Don’t Say Gay Bill


Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has reportedly intervened to try and prevent the Tennessee House from pressing ahead with passing the now infamous “Don’t Say Gay” †bill over other priority legislation.

Reports†Nashville Public Radio:

Yesterday a committee of state lawmakers put off dealing with so-called ĎDonít Say Gayí legislation. Thatís after hearing in private from an official with Governor Bill Haslamís office.


Asked about his administrationís reported intervention yesterday, Haslam told reporters he thinks there are simply better things for lawmakers to spend their time on.

ďIíve said before I donít think that should be a priority of the legislature. I think thereís other things that we can and should be focused on right now, and Iíve been up front about that from the very beginning.Ē

This is the second time Haslam has openly urged the Legislature to deal with Tennessee’s other issues. However, Haslam has declined to say whether he would veto the legislation if it did reach his desk.

Senate Bill 49 and counterpart measure†House Bill 229 sponsored by state Senator Stacey Campfield and (formerly sponsored) by Representative Bill Dunn respectively, both Republicans from Knoxville, was originally designed to prohibit “the teaching of or furnishing of materials on human sexuality other than heterosexuality in public school grades K-8.”

The Senate passed the bill in a 20 to 10 vote in May of last year with an amendment that states sexuality will not be taught in K-8 except when it relates to “natural human reproductive science.”

This change was supposed to make the bill more palatable to its critics, however critics charge that this amounts to the same gag-rule on discussing LGBT identity that was present in the original bill.

The House bill is currently waiting to be taken up by the House Education Committee. Despite the governor’s intervention,†House lawmakers supporting the bill have vowed to return to the legislation by next week.

Related Reading:

Don’t Say Gay Bill Needed to Keep Indoctrinating Children, Claims Rep

Tennessee Senate Okays ‘Don’t Say Gay’ in School Bill

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

Tennesseans Go to Court Over State Ban on Gay Nondiscrimination Ordinance


Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to JenLight.


Mari Garcia
Mari G5 years ago

im glad this governer is pointing out that there are more important issues to worry about. its funny how different the senate can be from state-to-state in NJ our senate wanted to legalize gay marriage and apparently in TN they want to pretend not saying "gay" will keep kids from becoming gay

LD B5 years ago

That, Mick, is the very thing that all who would simply dismiss such persons must remember at all times.

Mick R.
Mick R5 years ago

Just remember folks, people actually voted for these religious zealots! Sad but true.

Andrew Carvin
Andrew Carvin5 years ago

I made a video about why Homosexuals should have equal rights.

Watch it, share it, and join the fight against the evil Homophobes.

Geynell Eskite
Geynell Eskite5 years ago

"Don't say Gay"? Just what do these paranoid morons think they're accomplishing? Maybe to the Republicans the word "gay" is kind of like "Beetleljuice" - if a teacher says "Gay" 3 times all the students will turn into homosexuals. Are the children of same sex parents forbidden to talk about their families? Are they suppose to feel ashamed of their parents? What sort of message does this send to adolescents that are struggling with their own sexual identities? These students need all the support and acceptance they can get. Not bigotry and isolation.

Lilithe Magdalene
Lilithe M5 years ago

Oh myyyy.

New G.
W. C5 years ago

Agree with the last two comments.

LD B5 years ago

The year?


Kari Knabe
Kari Knabe5 years ago

WOW - I cannot believe this is a legislative issue!! What year is this?!?!?!?!?!

Sappho C.
Lee-Gwen B5 years ago


'By 1637, it took on the meaning of a person leading a loose and immoral life. By 1825, it was sometimes used to refer to female hookers ... "Gay" was first used to refer to a male homosexual in the 1933 play "Young & Evil." Cary Grant used it in the 1938 movie "Bringing up Baby" to refer to a transvestite. Gershn Legman & G.V. Henry mentioned the term in their book Sexual Variations (1941). In recent years, it has been used to refer to lesbians as well as homosexual males.'

Lady Sappho