State legislation known as “don’t say gay” has been revived. The bill now includes a requirement that school counselors notify parents if they learn of students “engaging in or at risk of engaging in” injurious behavior.
The intent of the proposal is to keep school teachers from incorporating gay issues into sexual education.
The new bill makes more allowances for classroom discussion of homosexuality. But it requires a school nurse, counselor or administrator to tell parents about discovering any “urgent safety issues.”
That includes homosexual behavior, says state Senator Stacey Campfield of Knoxville.
“I can’t speak from personal experience, but being homosexual in and of itself is not deadly or dangerous. The act of homosexuality is very dangerous.”
Campfield cites the higher rates of HIV infection among gay men.
The “don’t say gay” bill garnered national attention two years ago, passing the state Senate but failing in the House. Campfield says he has lined up a new House sponsor for the second try.
The new “don’t say gay” proposal never uses the words homosexual or gay, instead referencing behavior “inconsistent with natural human reproduction.”