Tennessee Backs Away From “Don’t Say Gay” Bill

Jim Burroway

March 13th, 2012

If it’s possible to die of embarrassment, then the nationwide uproar over Tennessee’s proposed “Don’t Say Gay” bill may well kill the bill. The (Nashville) Tennessean reports that the bill’s sponsors have agreed to put off debating the bill until the end of the legislative session, using a procedural move often used when sponsors decide not to push a bill:

Sponsors had been under pressure to amend the original bill, which would have banned any teaching about homosexuality apart from “natural human reproduction” before eighth grade. The measure was meant to keep schools and teachers from initiating discussions about gays and lesbians, but even its backers conceded Tuesday that it might have brought unintended consequences. “We found out there really is not sex education curriculum in K-8 right now,” said state Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, the bill’s original sponsor.

After slapping his forehead an exclaiming a Homer-esque “Doh!”, backers say they will instead shift their focus towards abstinence-only education.Another Sponsor, Rep. Hoey Hensley (R-Hohenwald), said that he would push for the bill again if the abstinence-ed bill fails. Gob. Bill Haslam criticized the “Don’t Say Gay” bill earlier this week, saying it was an unnecessary distraction that could cause more problems than it allegedly solves.

Jay Jonson

March 14th, 2012

I doubt the people who sponsor such bills can be embarrassed. Utah just passed a similar one and Utahans seem proud of it.

Blake

March 14th, 2012

Abstinence-only education is usually terrible & often anti-gay as well. Abstinence-only education leads to moronic statements (which I’ve heard from various people both in high school & in my adult life) in the vein of “I don’t use condoms because they don’t work”. Also, while they don’t stress the anti-gay points they make sure the kids know there is only one correct way to have sex & that is Penis-in-vagina sex between married folks.

I’m sure there are good programs that are AO. But most of the AO programs I encountered growing up were proselytizing badly disguised as sex-ed. Point being, this is not a huge victory. Although I love the stupidity/incompetence admitted to by Dunn. He might as well have said: “I didn’t fact check the anti-gay propaganda which underpinned the need for this bill.”

mikeksf

March 15th, 2012

Oh, hooey, Honey, Hoey Hensley (R-Hohenwald), honest? HA

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