Tennessee state Senator Stacey Campfield, the sponsor of 'Don't Say Gay' bill, insists being gay is a learned behavior.

With a 6-3 party line vote last week, the bill, which would prohibit the discussion of sexual minorities in public schools before the ninth grade, won the approval of the GOP-controlled Senate Education Committee. It is expected to reach the Senate floor any day now.

In a CNN interview, Campfield said his bill doesn't judge whether being gay is a positive or a negative.

“My bill is neutral. It doesn't say anybody can speak for it or against it,” he said.

But in a radio interview with David Pakman, Campfield, who has sponsored the bill in five previous sessions, conceded that he believes being gay is a choice.

“Well, so far I haven't seen anything that's proven there's a gay gene,” Campfield said. “That has not been proven to me. I have not seen anything – you know, actually, I'm not saying it is or not, I just haven't seen anything that proves it's anything but a learned behavior.”

“I think heterosexuality is the norm and a lot of times people learn to do different things. People do different things.”

When Pakman asked if Campfield was concerned that the bill would create a hostile environment for LGBT youth, which could lead to an increase in anti-gay bullying, the senator insisted it would do the opposite.

“Well, I think it could do just the opposite, actually. If a teacher's advocating against the lifestyle, it's saying what that is is dirty, it's filthy, it's wrong, it's an abomination. … I think my bill would stop that.”

And when asked if he supports giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry – something banned in Tennessee – Campfield answered: “If they fit the standards of what marriage is, yes.” To which Pakman replied, “Gotcha, I think I follow.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)