In a move straight out of an Orwell novel, Tennessee state Senator Stacey Campfield’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill has advanced out of committee and will be sent to the Senate floor.
The bill would effectively criminalize teachers and school officials who talk about homosexuality before the ninth grade.
Conveying the message that being gay is neither appropriate nor suitable for public discussion, Campfield is attempting to further alienate and isolate a vulnerable population from seeking help and guidance from educators.
Supporters of the bill maintain age sensitivity is the primary goal, but Matthew Parsons, a socially conservative advocate and founder of the anti-gay “Something Better” campaign, may have spoken too soon. “If we’re talking about homosexuality, we are talking about specific acts that are going to be unhealthy for anybody to engage in outside of marriage.”
Let’s be clear. Campfield’s proposed bill has nothing to do with what is “age appropriate.” This is about fundamentally altering society. It would effectively prohibit speech and further push the civil rights struggle away from mainstream radar. Out of sight, out of mind.
“The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill raises all kinds of issues about anti-gay bias, free speech and government overreach,” said Tennessee Equality’s Ben Byers. “It means [teachers] can’t talk about gay issues or sexuality even with students who may be gay or have [a] gay family.”
Once again, we are witnessing a scared GOP attempting to limit debate and stifle meaningful conversation. The party of small government seems perfectly supportive of government’s large hand so long as it furthers their culturally radical agenda.
Senator Campfield’s cowardly attempts to institutionalize discrimination are painfully obvious for anyone with half a mind to see. If it’s a debate about substantive issues you wish to have, I welcome that debate. But leave the children out of it.