Tennessee lawmaker sponsors ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill in state House

By Samantha Kimmey
Friday, February 15, 2013 21:08 EDT
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A Tennessee lawmaker has sponsored the infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill in the state House, according to the website The New Civil Rights Movement — the same bill that was introduced in the state Senate a few weeks ago.

Rep. John Ragan (R) filed HB1332 on Thursday. A few weeks ago, he replied to a constituent that in regard to same-sex attraction, “feelings do not control the behavior of a mentally healthy adult human being.”

The Senate sponsor, Sen. Stacey Campfield (R), has defended the legislation, telling USA Today, “The act of homosexuality is very dangerous to someone’s health and safety.”

Like a previous bill that ultimately died in 2012, the re-filed bill would prevent schools from discussing gay and lesbian issues to students in elementary and middle school.

But the new legislation goes farther. It would require schools and counselors to notify parents if they are told — or suspect — that a student may be gay, reported the Associated Press.

Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, said in a press release that “it’s inexcusable to make counseling professionals out LGBT or questioning young people to family members, when all too many parents physically abuse their LGBT children, force them into quack ‘reparative therapy’ programs, or kick them out of their homes.”

[Image: State Capitol In Nashville on Shutterstock]

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