‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill May Ban Tennessee Teachers From Discussing Homosexuality

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Randi Berez/Getty

Because if you don’t talk about something, it doesn’t exist, right?

A committee in the Tennessee State Senate has green-lighted a bill that, if passed, would ban elementary and middle teachers from discussing homosexuality at school. The legislation, dubbed the ‘don’t say gay’ bill, would mandate that before ninth grade, teachers not “provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality.”

(More on Time.com: See a photo history of the gay-rights movement.)

The bill supporters, including sponsor Sen. Stacey Campfield, a Republican from Knoxville who unsuccessfully pushed the same bill in the House for six years before being elected to the Senate, say the bill is “neutral” and simply leaves it up to families to decide when it is an appropriate time to talk to their kids about sexuality.

But in only restricting speech about homosexuality, not heterosexuality, the measure seems to have a more one-sided agenda than the sponsor purports. That point has led gay-rights activists to call the bill a form of discrimination, especially as it bars teachers from talking about gay issues or sexuality even with students who identify as gay or have gay parents.

The bill will next be put up for a vote before the state’s full, Republican-controlled, Senate.

(More on Time.com: Watch a video of Gay Days at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.)

4 comments
MikeStewart1
MikeStewart1

"Granted, it is impossible to place a price on the blood U.S. troops have shed on behalf of the 99% of the citizenry who elected not to serve, nor on the mental wounds more than a decade of war has inflicted on many of them."

Period. End stop. You should not have missed the opportunity to shut up after this sentence.

thomas.cox40
thomas.cox40

So Mark Thompson, a "journalist" who has never served and knows really nothing if life in the military parrots SGM Barrett thinks he's got the Marine Corps and military at large pegged.  My takeaways from this article were:  Military personnel make 90% more than their civilian counterparts, our country has created a predicament where military personnel have come to expect their entitlements (that's how it came across Mr. Thompson), and the overall tone of the article that while Hagel, Barrett and company aren't talking about reducing pay, perhaps we should reduce the military's pay and benefits.  


If the quarters, Mr. Thompson, are those in the civilian sector who've never put on a uniform, much less fought in a war at the behest of their Commander in Chief, then yes, I guess the military sounds more like a guild than service.  Not surprising since less than probably 2% have ever worn a uniform and less than 1% have ever served in a war zone despite 12 years of war...310 Million Americans in our country and yet less than 2% are creating such a burden on this country.  But I guess Americans are OK with servicemen and women serving 6-12 tours living most of their young adult lives in a war zone.


The comparisons between the military and civlian sectors are becoming more and more pervasive.  A recent article I read wonders if servicemen and woment should still be thanked for their service once the wars finally wind down.  I'm not even going to address, like others will, the sacrifices of our military families.  Or the soldier who drives trucks in convoys navigating IED's who makes less than a UPS or FEDEX driver.


The interesting thing here, though isn't the military response to a reduction of benefits...no, its the resounding boom when congress, particularly conservatives, talk about reducing entitlement programs designed to help those in need, but those that also pay people who contribute nothing to society and consume more and more by finding creative ways to increase what they receive.  No Mr. Thompson, I don't hear anyone talking about how to reduce what is probably the largest expenditure that returns nothing to this country except votes to the politicians that push these programs (I'll make that generalization since it matches that 90% generalization you made).

Just because you write about us for a couple of decades, doesn't mean you understand the culture...

NodakRunnerGirl
NodakRunnerGirl

You are just asking for a "little sacrifice." Seriously? Because military families don't sacrifice for their country already. How about asking Congress to do its job and end sequestration? How about asking America to pay for our wars with tax dollars instead of soldier pay? And as for civilians with "similar experience" I can guarantee you the guy driving the delivery truck down the interstate is not too concerned about driving over an IED nor has he watched his buddies get blown up (or left his home for a year at a time...I could go on and on). So, yes, paying for these wars with money taken from the very people who fought them is down right disgusting.

La_Randy
La_Randy

Soldiering on an Empty Stomach

"Food banks around the country near military installations all say the need among the military population, like the overall population, remains high. Brenda Swain, who runs a food bank in Falmouth, Massachusetts, estimates that active-duty military families make up about seven percent of her clientele, and it rises to ten percent when she counts families that include veterans. Karen Joyner, who runs a food bank in Virginia, only recently started to collect data, but found that the her network was distributing more than 100,000 pounds of food a month to active-duty military personnel. Ivers, the head of the food bank where Durazo works—they later hired her as an employee—says he serves between 150 and 200 military families a year, and has served more than 6,000 veterans in the past two years. The numbers of military families coming to his food bank for emergency food spiked during the government shutdown last October. “You have a lot of entry-level marines and army individuals, and even the border patrol, wind up coming to the food bank because they live paycheck to paycheck,” he says."