Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Posts for January, 2012

No crispy chicken livers for Stacey Campfield

Timothy Kincaid

January 30th, 2012

In Tennessee, there are no protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation. There also are no protections against discrimination based on stupidity, ignorance, and unvarnished bigotry – as State Senator Stacey Campfield (R – Dist. 7) discovered.

Campfield, a 43 year old confirmed bachelor, has a very special interest in homosexuality. For several years he unsuccessfully attempted to pass anti-gay legislation in the House of Representatives. And, as the good people of Knoxville seemed to be in the mood to reward buffoonery and ineptitude, in 2010 he was promoted to the state Senate, where his Fight Teh Ghey campaign found more fertile ground.

In May of last year, Campfield’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill passed the Senate 19-10, ensuring Tennessee’s reputation as a being, ahem, less attune with the realities and sensibilities of the twenty-first century. The bill is currently in the Education subcommittee of the House (as HB 229) along with an accompanying bill requiring all residents to drop out of school after the sixth grade, smoke corn-cob pipes, play the banjo and the marry their cousin. (Okay, maybe that last bill is not actually up for debate.)

In addition to his legislative contributions on the subject, Campfield is quick to offer his intellectual analysis on this and related subjects. On a recent interview with Michelangelo Signorile, Campfield asserted that “average lifespan of a homosexual” is “very short” and that that HIV came about when a homosexual airline pilot had sex with a monkey. Perhaps Campfield was attempting to garner support for the bill by illustrating the extent to which his own education had been blighted due to obsession over Teh Ghey.

But despite the efforts of their legislators to live up to stereotype, Tennessee has a good many decent, educated, and cultured people. And some residents are greatly offended when elected officials proudly display their ignorance and animus and make the state look like a haven for redneck bigots.

Martha Boggs, the owner of the Bistro, decided that as a business owner she had the right to refuse service and so on Sunday when Stacey Campfield showed up for brunch she told him that he was not welcome.

Campfield, no doubt, was delighted. From what I’ve seen over the years, the man dotes on publicity of any kind. But if he decides to try and play the martyr and decry the evil Left, I don’t think it will play well. Boggs seems like just some lady who’d had enough and I don’t think Stacey will do well in comparison.

Tennessee Senate Committee Passes “Don’t Say Gay” Bill

Jim Burroway

April 21st, 2011

A Tennessee Senate committee approved a bill that would prohibit teachers from discussing homosexuality before the ninth grade, a measure that would jeopardize anti-bullying programs in middle schools.

The measure, SB49 (PDF: 36KB/1 page), was introduced by Sen. Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville). As originally written, it stated, “Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no public elementary or middle school shall provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality.” Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) tried to sidetrack the measure, noting that current state law already prohibits such instruction because it falls outside the “family life curriculum” adopted by the state Board of Education. His amendment to refer the matter to the Board of Education for further study passed. But his efforts were effectively derailed when Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) proposed a further amendment, requiring that the Board of Education “shall adopt” Campfield’s original ban after the study is completed by February 1.

The bill now goes to the full Senate for a vote. Campfield has unsuccessfully pushed the “don’t say gay” bill for the past six years. An identical measure, HB229, has been introduced in the House by Rep. Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville) where it has been assigned to the Education Committee.

Campfield has come under criticism for trying to profit from his bill. He sought a $1000 “retainer” fee to debate his bill with an LGBT advocate. Tennessee law prohibits legislators from seeking payment related to their legislative duties outside their salary.

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.”

A Completely Useless Legislator

Timothy Kincaid

February 1st, 2008


The story below is, as best we know, accurate. But the photo we originally used was photoshopped. We’ve replaced it with Stacey Campfield’s official photo.

campfield1.jpgA Tennessee legislator doesn’t much like the gays. Per the Memphis Flyer

Representative Stacey Campfield of Knoxville filed a bill last week that would prevent public elementary and middle schools from allowing “any instruction or materials discussing sexual orientation other than heterosexuality.”

However, it’s not much worth getting riled up about. Campfield biggest contribution to the Tennessee House is warming his chair. As the Knoxville News Sentinel noted (on an unrelated but no less ridiculous issue)

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

I guess Campfield is Tennessee’s official state loon.