Tennessee state senator Stacey Campfield has reintroduced his infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill, with enhancements, including the tattletale clause requiring school teachers and counselors to tell parents if their kids are gay, under various scenarios. Campfield recently introduced a bill that would cut welfare to families if their children don’t perform well in school, calling it a step toward “breaking the cycle of poverty.”
Campfield’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill drew national attention during the two years it was debated, until it died an embarrassing death. The bill originally prohibited schools to discuss homosexuality, specifically during sex ed classes up to the eighth grade. Campfield’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill passed in the Senate, but ultimately died in the House when lawmakers finally realized Tennessee public schools don’t have sex ed classes until after the eighth grade.
It took Tennessee’s elected officials two years of debate and countless taxpayer dollars, not to mention nationwide ridicule, to figure this out.
But now, Campfield’s “new and improved” “Don’t Say Gay” bill has been updated.
SB 0234 (PDF), the “Classroom Protection Act,” notes that “certain subjects are particularly sensitive and are, therefore, best explained and discussed within the home,” (“Don’t Say Gay!”)
Because of its complex societal, scientific, psychological, and historical implications, human sexuality is one such subject. Human sexuality is best understood by children with sufficient maturity to grasp its complexity and implications.
Here’s the kicker:
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. [Bolding ours]
We’re assuming in Campfield’s mind, homosexuality is “inconsistent with natural human reproduction,” although no doubt we could challenge that claim and win.
Campfield then adds this delightful romp though fascism:
LEA (local education agency) policies and procedures adopted pursuant to this section shall not prohibit:
(1) Any instructor from answering in good faith any question or series of questions, germane and material to the course, asked of the instructor and initiated by a student or students enrolled in the course;
So, this “good faith” scenario is enshrined into law:
Student: Is homosexuality natural?
Then, two long sections that easily are interpreted to include a scenario where a student approaches a trusted teacher, says they think they might be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender:
Parents or legal guardians of students who receive such counseling shall be notified as soon as practicable that such counseling has occurred.
And if anyone doubts Campfield’s intentions, or his point of view, let’s remember this is Stacey Campfield, the man who has said repeatedly that it is “virtually impossible” to contract HIV/AIDS through heterosexual sex. In that same interview, Campfield (falsely) said that ”most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community — it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall….”
Campfield has also claimed:
[Homosexuals] do not naturally reproduce. It has not been proven that it is nature. It happens in nature, but so does beastiality That does not make it right or something we should be teaching in school.
And despite Tennessee’s sadly numerous anti-gay bullying teen suicides, Senator Campfield has said, “bullying thing is the biggest lark out there.”
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