A Tennessee House panel on Tuesday
approved a proposed bill which would outlaw the discussion of sexual
minorities in Tennessee's public schools before the ninth grade.
The measure – dubbed the “Don't
Say Gay” bill – cleared the House Education Committee on an 8-7
The Senate approved the controversial
bill last year. Republican state Senator Stacey Campfield first
introduced the legislation seven years ago in the House.
Say Gay” Stacey Campfield denied service over anti-gay views.)
Rep. Joey Hensley, the bill's sponsor
in the House, told The
Tennessean that the measure was needed because it would add a
layer of accountability to current policy.
“I have two children – in the third
and fourth grade – and don't want them to be exposed to things I
don't agree with,” Hensley said. “Even though the state board
disallows this now, I'm afraid it does happen, and sex education is
talked about in a way that it is acceptable.”
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 last month.
“I think the state already has rules in place about what can be
Jesse Tyler Ferguson responds to “Don't Say Gay” supporter's