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Holding Hands A “Gateway Sexual Activity” In Just-Passed Tennessee Bill

by David Badash on April 9, 2012

in Bigotry Watch,Civil Rights,Discrimination,Education,News,Politics

Post image for Holding Hands A “Gateway Sexual Activity” In Just-Passed Tennessee Bill

The Tennessee Senate just days ago passed their alternative to the much lampooned “Don’t Say Gay” bill that would classify holding hands as a “gateway sexual activity” in their new “family life education curriculum.” The bill also includes specific provisions that allow parents to sue teachers if they deviate from the specified curriculum.

For the past few years Tennessee has been the subject of nationwide ire for its attempts to pass an infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill, that would have prohibited the mentioning of anything about homosexuality by teachers or students.

“In a new family life instructions bill, holding hands and kissing could be considered gateways to sex. Planned Parenthood said that allowing state government to define local sex education curriculum could backfire,” Tennessee’s WMC TV reports:

According to a 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Study, 61 percent of Memphis City high school students and 27 percent of middle school students have had sex. That’s higher than the national average.

Planned Parenthood said these numbers are why a new sex education bill promoting abstinence is not realistic.

“If the state of Tennessee gets to create the curriculum, it has to create something that umbrella reflects everyone,” said Planned Parenthood Director of Education Elokin CaPese.

“It makes it very clear that you can’t promote contraception,” said CaPese.

The Huffington Post adds:

‘Abstinence’ means from all of these activities, and we want to promote that,” Republican state Sen. Jack Johnson, the bill’s sponsor, told The Tennessean. “What we do want to communicate to the kids is that the best choice is abstinence.”

The bill would require a “family life education curriculum” that prohibits the promotion of contraception and “any gateway sexual activity or health message that encourages students to experiment with non-coital sexual activity.”

Much like a bill that passed through the Utah state legislature last month, the Tennessee proposal notes that schools should “exclusively and emphatically promote sexual risk avoidance through abstinence, regardless of a student’s current or prior sexual experience.” It also requires that students are taught the “physical, social, emotional, psychological, economic and educational consequences of non-marital sexual activity.”

Studies have found that comprehensive sex education more effectively delays sexual intercourse among youth and reduces teen pregnancy at a greater rate than abstinence-only education. Still, a 2010 study published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that abstinence education can delay sex among teens.

Last month, Tennessee’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill was placed on hold after lawmakers realized that the bill was not only unnecessary from their own standpoint, but counterproductive as well. In grades K -8, the bill would have made it illegal to discuss homosexuality in any manner at all, and allow only the discussion of heterosexual reproduction. Lawmakers put a hold on the bill upon learning — after more than two years of debate — that Tennessee does not have sex education classes in grades K – 8.

Tennessee Senator Stacey Campfield, you’ll remember, made headlines internationally for his senate ”Don’t Say Gay” bill, SB-49, and for his public comments about homosexuality and HIV/AIDS, including saying it is “virtually impossible” to contract HIV/AIDS through heterosexual sex.


George Takei Brands Anti-Gay Lawmakers Heartless, Brainless, Cowardly Friends Of Dorothy

Tennessee Principal To Gay Students: You’re Going To Hell

Image via Flickr.

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thismummaslife April 9, 2012 at 11:52 am

If this is true, then I have engaged in gateway sexual activity with a lot of people, including my grandmother!!! How on earth can they define this like that??

AmericanFellow April 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm

two ways to handle this–
1. stay out of tn
2. go and or live there and fight the hate in every way possible

which would you choose? be honest with yourself

LOrion April 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Oh, no AmFellow: It is easier just spread this and make fun of them in other 49 states! For a start here is the header I am using in TENNESSEE, and Republican threads on Google + … will add to more too probably.
'MORE KOOKY KRAP from your (repressed? perverted? horny?)
Tennessee Legislature! DID YOUR REP vote for this? WTF did you elect them?'
NEGATIVE imaging works very well. Just see what we are doing to Rush!

LOrion April 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm

See this for description of just how well the #StopRush movement is doing … online and with a few phone calls!
Rush Limbaugh talk show fallout spreads to music formats

serenaity April 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm

how can the people of Tn elect buffoons that do this?

ttom214 October 10, 2012 at 1:18 pm

How did we get to this communist-like nanny state that we even THINK should be teaching our children state-values.????? Stay OUT of my home, damn-it! If I want to teach my children that the earth has been around for 500 years, let me alone. (no, I don't want to do that, just sayin'!) If I want my son to learn about the birds and the bees, that's MY job, and I accomplished that mission by myself, thank you very much. States are getting out of hand. We vote these idiots into office, and they try to verify their stupid existence by passing laws that some A hole thinks is a good idea. Just stop it. Holding hands is a personal validation. The state trying to take that away sounds eerily China like. We don't need robots, we need creative children. Teach them HOW to think, not WHAT to think

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