As Florida's dangerous and possibly unconstitutional "Don't Say Gay" bill gathers nationwide attention and condemnation – making it more likely to be passed and signed into law by Republican governor and rumored 2024 presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis, another Republican is dusting off his own "Don't Say Gay" bill to push his "Christian values" agenda.
Tennessee state Rep. Bruce Griffey says if schools are forcing him to teach Christian values at home because they won't teach them in the classroom, they should not be allowed to "promote" what his legislation calls "LGBT issues or lifestyles."
“The state of Tennessee is not allowed to teach my daughters Christian values that I think are important and they should learn, so I teach those at home,” Rep. Griffey told Tennessee's WMC, as The Advocate reports. “So if those are not part of the school curriculum, I don’t see how LGBTQ and other issues and social lifestyles should be part of the curriculum.”
The legislation, HB 800, as written appears to be unconstitutional. It is a damning indictment of First Amendment ignorance from a man – an attorney no less who has called himself "a country lawyer from West Tennessee" last fall as he attacked his fellow lawmakers who support vaccine mandates as "medical Nazis."
Griffey's bill labels all classroom materials that "promote, normalize, support, or address controversial social issues, such as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender (LGBT) lifestyles" as "inappropriate," offering no reasons why.
The seemingly unconstitutional portion reads:
WHEREAS, the promotion of LGBT issues and lifestyles in public schools offends a significant portion of students, parents, and Tennessee residents with Christian values; and WHEREAS, the promotion of LGBT issues and lifestyles should be subject to the same restrictions and limitations placed on the teaching of religion in public schools;
As NCRM reported last year, Griffey says of LGBTQ people: “I am not concerned with, nor do I wish to know or contemplate about the voluntary sexual activity two consenting adults that is not harmful or detrimental."
“We don’t know nor do we want to know about the sexual behavior of others.”