Joe Mirabella

Stop the Don't Say "Gay" Bill

Filed By Joe Mirabella | April 13, 2011 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Action Alerts
Tags: petition, Tennessee

The right wing is so threatened by the existence of gay people that they are trying to make it illegal to mention us in school in Tennessee.

queer-youth.jpgAccording to

On Wednesday, April 13, State Senator Stacey Campfield will introduce his "Don't Say Gay" bill (SB049) to the Senate Education Committee. As introduced, the bill requires that "no public elementary or middle school shall provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality. "

This bill would tie the hands of school counselors, school psychologists, teachers, principals and other school employees in protecting our children. If a child is experiencing issues relating to their sexual orientation or identity, they would be unable to discuss those issues with the adults who are supervising and teaching them. Early detection of the signs of depression can help prevent suicides among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

As a board member for the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA), it is my pleasure and honor to interview candidates for our annual scholarship program to recognize LGBT and allied leaders. Students arrive in the Seattle region from all over the country. Their stories of survival our gut wrenching.

From bullying, to homelessness, to abandonment from their parents, there are so many reasons gay and lesbian youth struggle. Often, the only people they can turn to are trusted teachers and school councilors. Is a gay student who is beaten daily by their father supposed to omit their orientation when talking to a school counselor? Will that counselor get charged with a crime if they refer that student to a safe place for gays and lesbian youth?

I cannot think of a more devastating and hate-filled thing to do to a young person in crisis than to forbid the acknowledgment of who they are at school.

Please take a moment to sign this petition and share it widely with your friends and family - especially if they live in Tennessee.

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Brad A. Palmertree | April 13, 2011 1:38 PM

Thanks so much for recognizing this shameful bill. This guy has introduced it the past couple of years as a state representative & we always managed to quashed it in subcommittee or committee. But now that he's a state senator & the entire state legislator turned red (REALLY red), we think he's got the backing to get it passed. And it really, really sucks for those of us here in Tennessee doing safe schools work. Thanks for your help. -Brad, Co-Chair, GLSEN Middle Tennessee

Thank you for alerting everyone to this issue. People with LGBTQ parents often face isolation and bullying in schools. Our families are often left out of family discussions and curriculum. It is so important that young people are empowered to use the words they choose to talk about their families.

Thanks for mentioning this on Bilerico, Joe. There are a couple anti-LGB bills that are active in the state of TN right now, and I had hoped someone would bring some of it to light. I don't know too much about them myself. As Brad mentioned, this one's been around a while.

jason smith | April 14, 2011 4:49 AM

i thank the politicians have really lost there minds and not trying to get jobs back and help the united states trying to pass freedom of speech items like this wow

Because children really learn when we censor information for them, right?