Tennessee’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill Would Ban Mentioning Homosexuality in Schools

A new bill in Tennessee has been introduced that would ban teachers from talking about homosexuality in public elementary and middle schools. “No public elementary or middle school shall provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality,” it reads.

The bill, which goes by HB 229 and SB 49, was introduced by Republican State Sen. Stacey Campfield and Rep. Bill Dunn, both of Knoxville.

Ben Byers of the Tennessee Equality Project has been fighting against the bill, saying ”The Don’t Say Gay bill raises all kinds of issues about anti-gay bias, free speech and government overreach. It limits what teachers and students are able to discuss in the classroom…. It means they can’t talk about gay issues or sexuality even with students who may be gay or have gay family.”

The Tennessee Board of Education, which has been consulted repeatedly on the bill, has said that there is no need for this kind of legislation.

Senator Stacey Campfield: Office Phone (615) 741-1766
Rep. Bill Dunn: rep.bill.dunn@capitol.tn.gov