Tennessee Republicans Trying to Legislate Away the Gay

Forcing teachers to out gay students
US News • Views: 30,603

Tennessee legislators are back at it. They’re looking to enact legislation that would ban the word “gay” from school classrooms. They’ve tried for the last few years, but have fallen short each time. It hasn’t stopped them from trying again though.

This time, they’re not only looking to ban the word, but they’re going to require teachers to out their gay students to their parents.

Among the provisions of SB 234:

At grade levels pre-K through eight (pre-K-8), any such classroom instruction, course materials or other informational resources that are inconsistent with natural human reproduction shall be classified as inappropriate for the intended student audience and, therefore, shall be prohibited.

The preceding passage would also seem to indicate that talk of contraceptives is inappropriate, since it’s inconsistent with natural human reproduction. Moreover, it would seem to prohibit discussion of in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The provision that requires counseling seems innocuous on its face, until you realize that if a school counselor or other administrator learns a student is gay during counseling, that person must inform the parents:

(2) A school counselor, nurse, principal or assistant principal from counseling a student who is engaging in, or who may be at risk of engaging in, behavior injurious to the physical or mental health and wellbeing of the student or another person; provided, that wherever possible such counseling shall be done in consultation with the student’s parents or legal guardians. Parents or legal guardians of students who receive such counseling shall be notified as soon as practicable that such counseling has occurred;

Parents wouldn’t need to be informed if the school official believes that the parent or guardian is in any way responsible for the sexual abuse of the student.

Campfield has tried this act before, and was even featured in 2008 in a fauxtography scandal when locals altered a photo to show him holding a bumper sticker saying confederate values.

Campfield’s positions have been highlighted here in the past as well. He’s previously been noted as being a birther.

It shouldn’t be surprising that Campfield’s focus on gayness is in part due to misguided notions about AIDS as well.

That Campfield construes gayness to be a dangerous act may be rooted in his faulty understanding of HIV and AIDS. ‘My understanding is that it is virtually—not completely, but virtually—impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex,’ he said during a radio interview last year. ‘Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community—it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, I believe.’

(Renowned scientist Jacques Pepin’s book The Origin of AIDS differs greatly from Campfield’s account.)

True to the wording of his bills, Campfield does find homosexuality unnatural. Homosexuals ‘do not naturally reproduce,’ he says. ‘It has not been proven that it is nature. It happens in nature, but so does bestiality. That does not make it right or something we should teach in schools.’ And he does find homosexuality dangerous: ‘What’s the average lifespan of a homosexual? It’s very short. Google it.’

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