A bill which would prohibit the
discussion of gay issues in Missouri's public schools on Wednesday
advanced to an education committee, the Vital
Republican Rep. Steve Cookson
introduced the proposal last month. It now has been referred to the
House's Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.
The bill's summary reads: “This bill
prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation in public school
instruction, materials or extracurricular activity except in
scientific instruction on human reproduction.”
The measure would effectively ban
Gay-Straight Alliance groups from meeting on school grounds as
approved extracurricular entities.
“Filing this bill is a desperate
tactic by frightened, bigoted, cynical individuals who are terrified
at the advancement the LGBT community has made in breaking down the
barriers to full and equal treatment under the law,” said A.J.
Bockelman, executive director of PROMO, the state's leading gay
“It's clear that this proposed bill
does nothing to protect students. In some way, however, these
enemies of Freedom of Speech have done us a favor. By attempting to
coerce teachers and students into making this core reality of our
lives literally unspeakable, they have only proved why LGBT students
need greater, better, and stronger protection in our schools.”
has launched an online petition against the bill.
similar bill in Tennessee recently cleared a House panel.