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
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