In promoting a new version of his
infamous “Don't Say Gay” bill, Tennessee State Senator Stacey
Campfield has compared gay sex to injecting heroin.
Campfield's controversial bill, which
seeks to outlaw the discussion of sexual minorities in Tennessee's
public schools before the ninth grade, returned last month with a new
name, the Classroom Protection Act (SB234), and a new mandate:
Counselors who speak to students about the subject must inform the
students' parents that such counseling has taken place.
In an interview with TMZ.com, Campfield
defended his proposal.
“If they're going to engage in
homosexual acts anyway, why not teach them how to protect themselves
from [HIV]?” he was asked.
“You know, you could say the same
thing about kids who are shooting heroin,” Campfield answered. “We
need to show them the best ways to shoot up. No, we don't. Why do
we have to hypersexualize little children? Why can't we just let
little kids be little kids for a while? Why do we have to have
little kids be ...”
“Do you believe in sex education
period?” TMZ interrupted.
“If you can show me where it works,
Campfield also called gay rights
activists “the biggest bullies in the world.” (Watch
the entire segment at TMZ.com.)
at ThinkProgress.com, Zack Ford called Campfield's views
“Campfield's understanding of
homosexuality is limited to the performance of sex acts,” Ford
wrote. “It seems beyond his comprehension that those 'little kids'
might have same-sex parents. He has no sympathy for those children
who might realize at a very young age that they are not the same as
all the other kids. Discussing the existence of gay people does
nothing to 'sexualize' young people, whatever that would even mean.
It's no surprise that the TMZ crew had to wrestle with the idea that
Campfield had ever been elected; his understanding of the world
around is severely narrow.”
Opponents of the bill, which Campfield
first introduced eight years ago in the House, have also noted that
Tennessee schools currently do not formally address the topic.