A twice delayed vote on a bill that
seeks to outlaw the discussion of sexual minorities in Tennessee's
public schools before the ninth grade is expected in the Senate on
Republican Senator Stacey Campfield's
bill cleared a Senate committee late last month.
According to Nashville NBC affiliate
WSMV, lawmakers on Monday set aside debate on the bill until
Campfield explained the controversy
surrounding the bill this way: “I think people are realizing, 'Hey,
there are people pushing things onto children, things maybe they do
not agree with, pro or con,' so I think people are taking notice of
The measure's sponsor in the House,
Representative Bill Dunn, has said there isn't sufficient time left
in this year's session to pursue passage in the House.
told KnoxNews.com that the House Education Committee responsible
for vetting such bills has closed for the year.
“Stacey waited awfully late to get
started,” said Dunn.
“That's all right with me,” said
Campfield. “He always said, 'You pass it first, then I'll pass
it.' So, I'll pass it this year and he can pass it next year.”
Campfield touted his bill in various
media appearances over the past weeks, including CNN and Fox News.
On CNN, he
insisted his bill is “neutral” and doesn't judge whether being
gay is a positive or a negative.
In a radio interview with David Pakman,
Campfield, who has sponsored the bill in five previous sessions,
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