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Tennessee’s Invidious ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law Would Require Teachers To Out Their LGBT Students

Tennessee’s repugnant ‘Don’t Say Gay‘ bill is back. This incarnation though is far more odious than its predecessor that was appropriately abandoned after the Assembly adjourned their legislative session without acting upon it. The current “Don’t Say Gay” bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Stacey Campfield, would “prohibit teachers from discussing of any sexuality except heterosexuality in grades K-8.” But that is not the most offensive part:

If Tennessee’s controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill passes through the state legislature, teachers will have to report any ‘suspect’ LGBT activities of a child to his or her parents. Generally, any signs of a child being abused, depressed or suicidal must be reported by a teacher to parents and/or higher authorities. According to Tennessee, then, being gay is so abnormal, it must be reported so that such behavior can be thwarted. To add insult to injury, the proposed bill also states that, At grade levels pre-K through eight (pre-K-8), any such classroom instruction, course materials or other informational resources that are inconsistent with natural human reproduction shall be classified as inappropriate for the intended student audience and, therefore, shall be prohibited.

This is so hard to stomach. We already have a shameful epidemic in this country as LGBT youth comprise 40% of all homeless young people in the United States, yet make up less than 10% of that population group. Of these homeless youths, 68% attribute family rejection as a primary reason for leaving home. Another study revealed that thirty percent of all LGBT-identified youths say their family is not accepting of their homosexuality. So with hateful bills like this one, we are now going to remove the school as a safe-haven for these children.


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