A Tennessee House panel on Tuesday put
off debate on a proposed bill which would outlaw the discussion of
sexual minorities in Tennessee's public schools before the ninth
The Senate approved the controversial
bill – dubbed the “Don't Say Gay” bill – last year.
Republican state Senator Stacey Campfield first introduced the
legislation seven years ago in the House. Campfield
created a firestorm of controversy when he said that a gay man
was responsible for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and that only
gay men acquire the disease.
The bill's sponsor in the House, Rep.
Bill Dunn, a Republican from Knoxville, agreed to put off the debate
until the end of the legislative session. The move could signal that
lawmakers do not intend to revisit the measure.
Dunn conceded that the legislation was
a fix in search of a problem: “We found out there really is not sex
education curriculum in K-8 right now,” he said.
The move comes after Governor Bill
Haslam reiterated his opposition to the measure.
“It's not something that I think is
particularly helpful or needed right now,” Haslam said on Monday.
“I think the state already has rules in place about what can be
Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson responds to “Don't Say Gay”