Tenn. ’Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Set to Die
Tennessee’s controversial "Don’t Say Gay" bill, which would prohibit public school teachers from discussing sexuality and LGBT issues, is set to die and it will not be put to a final vote, Care2.com reported.
The legislation’s House sponsor decided to pull the bill on Sunday before it was voted on.
"With that assurance and the opposition of some people who didn’t want to vote on it, I’ve decided simply not to bring it up," GOP sponsor sate Rep. Joey Hensley said, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.
The bill would have made it illegal for teachers to talk about gay issues to students in kindergarten through grade eight. Teachers were allowed, however, to talk about sexuality only in terms of "natural human reproduction science."
But many gay rights activists saw the legislation as an attack on LGBT students and freedom of speech.
In February students from Nashville high schools protested the bill after a state House committee advanced the measure.
"To me, they’re sending a message that in society gay people aren’t really equal," said Thomas Kibby, a student from Hume-Fogg High School. "This law would be kind of moving backwards."
Late last month, Missouri’s Elementary and Secondary Education Committee advanced a similar bill. The state’s controversial legislation would ban discussing topics about the LGBT community and prohibit teachers from addressing anti-gay bullying.
"Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no instruction, material, or extracurricular activity sponsored by a public school that discusses sexual orientation other than in scientific instruction concerning human reproduction shall be provided in any public school," House Bill 2051 reads.