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Shhhh! If We Don’t Talk About Them, Maybe They’ll Go Away

Jim Burroway

March 19th, 2009
Tenn. Rep. Stacy Campfield (R-Knoxville)

Tenn. Rep. Stacy Campfield (R-Knoxville)

If a Tennessee state lawmaker has his way, teachers won’t be allowed to discuss homosexuality in any way, shape or form. For the second year in a row, Tennessee Rep. Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville) filed his “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would essentially ban teachers from talkng about gay people:

I think our teachers need to stick with reading, writing, and arithmetic,” Campfield said. “It confuses a lot of children that are already in a difficult part of life, and it’s a very complex issue.”

Students who are expected to understand chemistry, trigonometry and “The Lady Or The Tiger” can handle complex subjects. Chris Sanders, with the Tennessee Equality Project, points out the bill’s far-reaching infringement not just on free speech rights, but on education itself:

“The problem with this bill is it would have a chilling effect on even being able to discuss the bill itself, and both sides of the bill in an 8th grade class where you are learning to write essays,” Sanders said.

Wiser heads prevailed and the Education Committee decided to hold off voting on the bill for another year to give it time for “more study.”

Comments

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Ben in Oakland
March 19th, 2009 | LINK

You can talk aobut murder, torture, even Deicide, but you can’t talk aobut gay people.

Who’s a pretty boy?

grantdale
March 19th, 2009 | LINK

Jeepers, now even a man with a girl’s name thinks he can bully us around.

But, seriously…

Stacey Campfield??? — he’s a character invented by Peterson Toscano for an upcoming production, isn’t he???

cowboy
March 19th, 2009 | LINK

You can’t talk about homosexuals but kids can say: “That’s so gay…”

…without any reprimand.

You think kids aren’t savvy enough to know the truth? Just attend a high-school debate competition and see how non-ignorant these kids are already.

Jason D
March 19th, 2009 | LINK

Education isn’t just abut covering math, science, and english, it’s about teaching children about the world around them and the many people in it. It’s preparing them for the world they will eventually have to function in. Ignoring a class of people is irresponsible. The subject is really not that complex. Some boys like girls, some boys like boys. Some boys like boys and girls.

It’s the same control issue over and over again.

Timothy Kincaid
March 19th, 2009 | LINK

Ahhh, Stacey.

As we noted when he presented this bill last year:

Campfield has failed to win passage of any legislation, much of it controversial, that he has sponsored in recent years.

Timothy Kincaid
March 19th, 2009 | LINK

Incidentally, this loon just failed in his efforts to have the State of Tennessee issue death certificates for abortions.

Scott
March 19th, 2009 | LINK

Jason,
You forget this is the same crowd that thinks if you don’t tell them about contraception, they won’t think about sex. Or that “creationism” is science.

To them education is indoctrination, thinking is anathema.

Scott

cowboy
March 19th, 2009 | LINK

Does Stac[e]y do this for some cheap notoriety? Or: Does he think he gets points for getting into heaven with stunts like this?

sam
March 19th, 2009 | LINK

Honestly, if you lived here you’d just laugh along with the rest of us when the good representative starts talking. No one really knows what’s on his mind or what he really hopes to accomplish. One could devote years of study to the insanity that is Knoxville/Knox County politics and never untangle the web, and living here we all know that Campfield is honestly the mere tip of the iceberg.

And a point I didn’t see made, what does he think will happen when kids with a gay parent show up to school? Are they not allowed to discuss their family? Would we then bar all discussion of families, whether hetero or homo, as we’d have to do in the interest of fairness?

quo III
March 19th, 2009 | LINK

Most of what teachers tell school children about homosexuality is likely to be rubbish, frankly. I can imagine worse ways of dealing with the issue of homosexuality in schools than simply forbidding teachers to talk about it.

homer
March 19th, 2009 | LINK

He’s 40 and isn’t married….

Regan DuCasse
March 19th, 2009 | LINK

How many times have we heard gay people getting admonished for marriage equality efforts because there are just so MANY other pressing issues going on in our country?

But the opposition seems to be spending an hugely inordinate amount of time worrying about the STUPIDEST things they think have to do with gay people!

Is there no END to the parade of stupid?
And ya think ‘these gay people made me think up this bill’ is far behind his rationale?

Exactly right: school is for learning about the real world and getting along in it.
If this shitwad had been saying the same thing about blacks or Jews you think he’d last for one minute?
And unlike being black or Jewish, the biological lottery integrates gay folks into all human life.
It’s religious or gender hierarchy that invented hating gay people, it’s not culture that invented gay people.

THAT is something important that young people need to learn, and some I’m sure already know.

Isn’t there a factory being shut down, or lack of a good medical facility in his district?
How many of his constituents are unemployed and don’t know where their next paycheck is coming from?
Or what to do if they or their child is sick…? Including gay people in TN?

What an ass…

Mikael
March 19th, 2009 | LINK

As someone who graduated high school in ’07, I can’t think of anything worse that teachers not talking about being gay. I never had a high school teacher mention any “alternative lifestyles” let alone say the word gay, and it made my high school seem like a prison.

Also, by this logic, to avoid racism, we should outlaw saying “black” in schools. Racism is confusing enough as it is.

Dave
March 19th, 2009 | LINK

Incidentally, this loon just failed in his efforts to have the State of Tennessee issue death certificates for abortions.

Considering that abortions are performed in this country well throughout the second trimester, and even into the third, (thanks to the Supreme Court, of course) death certificates for abortions might be a very good idea.

Emily K
March 19th, 2009 | LINK

Considering that abortions are performed in this country well throughout the second trimester, and even into the third, (thanks to the Supreme Court, of course) death certificates for abortions might be a very good idea.

Well, I hope that this practice would be optional for me, as I’m Jewish and this violates the tenant of my faith that says life (and therefor the potential for death) begins at the first breath – not at conception.

Michael A
March 19th, 2009 | LINK

Stonewall England has a slogan: SOME PEOPLE ARE GAY. GET OVER IT! That’s what Stacy Campfield needs to learn. That’s what teachers who are squeamish about telling children that some men like men and some women like women need to learn. Kids are fine with that information. It’s only when the grown-ups show anxiety about it that kids get “confused.”

Dave
March 20th, 2009 | LINK

Emily K,

Well, I hope that this practice would be optional for me, as I’m Jewish and this violates the tenant of my faith that says life (and therefor the potential for death) begins at the first breath – not at conception.

Yes, Emily, we all know you’re Jewish. You hammer on that point incessantly.

I really don’t care what your faith — or any other — says about anything. To believe that a living human fetus (or a living fetus of any other species) cannot die makes as much sense as believing that the Earth is flat, that plants talk, and that the moon is made of green cheese.

Neither religious dogma nor court rulings (‘a fetus is not a person, but only potential life’) can alter an unborn child’s awareness and ability to feel pain. That is determined by nature, which didn’t plan on humanity devising clever means of exterminating its gestating young.

The purpose of my comment was to point out that some pretty terrible and cruel things go on in the name of reproductive freedom in this country. Since Rep. Campfield’s proposal could also point that out, perhaps it isn’t as silly as it at first appears.

David C. Kanz
March 20th, 2009 | LINK

Hmmmmm….as is often the case among those who “protesteth too much…..”—-(and we have seen plenty of that have we not?)eventually….more of the story is revealed…..

And the Tennessee lawmaker may be “fighting his own demons” himself….as we have seen—being married to a woman in public life does not necessarily equate to private sexual preference and reality….

He is pretty…isn’t he? (LOL)

Kara
March 20th, 2009 | LINK

I guarantee that a guy named “Stacy” with delicate facial features was bullied like crazy in school. It would be interesting to ask him about that. And make no mistake about it, 99% of the epithets hurled at “Stacy” were anti-gay.

Emily K
March 20th, 2009 | LINK

I have to say that he, like many ex-gays and anti-gays I’ve seen, definitely has a case of “gayface.”

Emproph
March 21st, 2009 | LINK

It’s just like marijuana, he’s trying to make a plant illegal in word form.

David C. Kanz
March 21st, 2009 | LINK

My Gay-dar is sensing——something…..

Jason D
March 21st, 2009 | LINK

“Considering that abortions are performed in this country well throughout the second trimester, and even into the third, (thanks to the Supreme Court, of course) death certificates for abortions might be a very good idea.”

Considering that the birth control pill is an Abortifacient, this would be a ridiculously difficult proposal to carry out. Would women have to show up to the doctor’s office monthly to determine how many pill-induced abortions she had, and therefore issue death certificates? Do you want to pay for those doctor visits, Dave? Perhaps the docs should issue a stack of death certificates with the pills and women should fill them out after every period(if she’s had sex), just to be on the safe side?

Do you know how often women miscarry without even knowing it? My mother had at least 3 without the slightest inkling she was pregnant.

Dave
March 21st, 2009 | LINK

Considering that the birth control pill is an Abortifacient, this would be a ridiculously difficult proposal to carry out.

Jason D,

Measures that prevent a zygote from implanting in the uterine lining are not usually considered abortive. If Rep. Campfield so considers them he must realize that issuing certificates for such ‘abortions’ is beyond the realm of possibility.

In any event, this is completely irrelevant as I wrote about second and third trimester abortions.

I really don’t see how your comment proves anything other than your refusal to carefully read the people you quote.

Do you know how often women miscarry without even knowing it?

Again, this relates to my comment how?

Emily K
March 21st, 2009 | LINK

Jason D,

I don’t know if you have seen this but the blog “Jesus’ General” made a hilarious and impassioned plea on the behalf of “Spermatozoan Americans,” essentially declaring that wayward hands can cause billions of deaths! That’s a lot of homunculi..

Jason D
March 22nd, 2009 | LINK

“Jason D,

Measures that prevent a zygote from implanting in the uterine lining are not usually considered abortive. If Rep. Campfield so considers them he must realize that issuing certificates for such ‘abortions’ is beyond the realm of possibility.”

Wow, Dave, you really don’t read much on the subject do you? The Birth Control prevents pregnancy TWO ways.

1 – (Which you are familiar with) is to prevent implantation.

2 – Chemically aborting implanted zygotes. Yes, indeed, the pill doesn’t always prevent implantation, some zygotes manage to implant regardless and the pill takes care of them after implantation.

The morning after pill is merely a higher dosage of the birth control pill, thus it prevents pregnancy via method #2. A doctor who prescribes the morning after pill is merely providing a more vigorous version of the same methods already available to women through their regular pill.

So yes, the birth control pill is, in fact, an abortifacient.

If you’d bothered to read up on the subject you’d know this, and you’d also know that many on the Anti-Abortion side are also against the birth control pill for the very same reason.

“In any event, this is completely irrelevant as I wrote about second and third trimester abortions.

I really don’t see how your comment proves anything other than your refusal to carefully read the people you quote.”

You’ve made it very clear that you consider all fetus’s alive and therefore worthy of death certificates, therefore fetuses affected by the birth control pill and via miscarriage are just as “dead” as those who are aborted by a doctor, thus – by your logic – all are in need of death certificates.

I read you carefully, it is your comments, and logic, that shows you have done very little reading on the subject of reproduction, reproductive rights, and the consequences of your logic. My point, my posts, were merely pointing out the many problems inheirent in both your stance on fetus’s and the issuing of death certificates. These are relevant issues you were either completely ignorant of, or have chosen to ignore.

Emproph
March 22nd, 2009 | LINK

If he’s sincere in his plight to criminalize the use of the word “gay,” then it logically follows that he would eventually want to prohibit even words that sound like gay.

Imagine what that would do to the calendar industry?

January, February, March, April, not April, June

Patrick in Ventura
March 22nd, 2009 | LINK

It wouldn’t surprise me Rep. Campfield slipped up one of these days and outed himself, just like all the other politicians and preachers that rail the loudest against those damn ho-mo-secks-u-als…

I got his number…believe me…it’s only a matter of time before he’s caught with a tranvestite hooker; busted in a gAy theater with his pants around his ankles; spotted in an adult bookstore movie booth propositioning a cop…

I can’t wait.

Dave
March 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Jason D,

You try my patience mightily. I am not the sort of man who suffers foolishness gladly, and you are displaying it in spades. And I do not like having my intelligence insulted.

You wrote, “Considering that the birth control pill is an Abortifacient.” This is false.

I am well aware how birth control pills work: either by preventing ovulation or by preventing a zygote from implanting in the uterine lining. Neither process is an abortion. An abortion is the loss of a pregnancy, and pregnancy begins when the zygote implants in the uterus, not before.

Since the latter process, preventing implantation, is contragestive rather than contraceptive, many abortion opponents oppose birth control measure that work this way. They may consider such measures abortive, but this is technically untrue. Accordingly, most do not say such measures cause abortions. (“are not usually considered abortive”).

You’ve made it very clear that you consider all fetus’s alive and therefore worthy of death certificates, therefore fetuses affected by the birth control pill and via miscarriage are just as “dead” as those who are aborted by a doctor, thus – by your logic – all are in need of death certificates.

I consider a developing fetus to be alive for the same reasons I consider growing grass and multiplying bacteria to be alive. Any other point of view is idiotic.

The word “fetus” is properly used to refer to a gestating vertebrate after its primary morphological development is complete. (In humans this is around 8 weeks gestation.) Birth control pills, including emergency contraception, do not affect fetuses, or even embryos. They can only stop dividing zygotes (blastocysts) from implanting. It seems you are the one who is largely ignorant about reproduction, Jason.

I told Timothy Kincaid that “death certificates for abortions might be a very good idea” because “abortions are performed in this country well throughout the second trimester, and even into the third.” As I said to Emily K,

The purpose of my comment was to point out that some pretty terrible and cruel things go on in the name of reproductive freedom in this country.

Your posts entirely missed the point of my comments. Entirely. You say you read me carefully, but your posts make it clear you didn’t understand what you were reading.

Jim Burroway
March 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Jason and Dave,

Your comments are now entirely off topic. Please return to the topic at hand, or continue your conversation offline.

Thank you.

Mariah & Byron Edgington
March 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Education is needed on every level, including & especially the people who should know & understand civil rights. We advocate for marriage. Healthy, vibrant marriages are vital to our country’s stability and future. Solid, committed relationships should be embraced as the gold standard for everyone in pursuit of the American Dream. From a very young age we’re taught the value of family. It’s our goal, through Caffection! Married to My Best Friend, to affirm all Caffected Couples and to stand by their side on the glorious day when everyone can receive a marriage license.
In Caffection, Mariah & Byron Edgington Ohio

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