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US: Tennessee’s reintroduced ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill dies

March 28, 2013
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Tennessee’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which would require teachers to alert parents if their child confided in them about their sexuality, has died before a House Subcommittee.

In February, Tennessee Republican Senator Stacey Campfield revived his Classroom Protection Act, a bill which originally proposed to limit mentions of homosexuality in schools.

The reintroduced bill, earlier versions of which failed to become law in 2008 and 2011, came with an added clause that would order schools to report any student’s “gay activity” to their parents.

It emerged in March that the bill would also make it compulsory for educators to send gay or lesbian students to a psychiatrist, and hand them a referral note.

The bill was defeated once again on Tuesday by the House Education Subcommittee, as none of the representatives would second it.

John Ragan, a Republican Representative who sponsored the bill, said he was “disappointed”. He added that he had planned to amend the bill to remove references to sexuality, and focus instead on students who are seen as violently dangerous.

“It’s about school safety,” Mr Ragan said. “It created a positive obligation for school personnel … to identify students who were a potential threat to themselves and others.”

Mr Ragan said he planned to reintroduce the measure at a later date.

Mr Campfield, the bill’s author, caused affront in February when he compared being gay to “shooting heroin”.

Last week the University of Tennessee bowed to pressure and said it would not use state funding in its sex education week after Fox News reported it as using student fees to pay a “lesbian bondage expert.” Mr Campfield threatened to cut the university’s funding if the event went ahead.

More: Americas, don't say gay, Education, john ragan, LGBT children, lgbt youth, schools, Sexuality, stacey campfield, teachers, Tennessee, US

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