The latest version of Tennessee‘s infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill would require teachers to tell gay students they need a psychiatrist, and literally hand them a referral. An amendment to the bill would force teachers and school personnel who were approached by students talking about homosexuality to literally hand them a referral to a mental health professional.
This amendment would remove from the House version of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill the requirement that forces school teachers and administrators to “out” gay students to their parents if they approach faculty members with questions about homosexuality. It also calls homosexuality a “lifestyle choice,” according to local Knoxville news WBIR:
A measure in the works in the Tennessee legislature would bar school personnel from advising students on “mental health” issues, ‘lifestyle’ choices or other conditions or activities outside career and educational counseling” unless they have been licensed as a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.
Teachers, counselors and principals instead would be asked to give students a referral for psychiatric care if they bring up mental health or lifestyle issues. School districts would also have to train educators on how to handle such questions.
Both the Tennessee House and Senate are debating various versions of the bill. Senator Stacey Campfield (image, left,) is the original architect of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, and his version is currently being debated in the Senate. Rep. John Ragan (image, right,) is the chief sponsor of the House version, and proposed the psychiatric referral amendment for the House’s version.
Ragan made national news last year, after waiting just one day after the suicide a gay Tennessee teen to write a constituent telling her that a gay person is not a “mentally healthy adult human being.”
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