Tennessee’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill is stalled

Gov. Bill Haslam says bill 'not helpful' and 'not needed'

Tennessee’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill is stalled
13 March 2012

The so-called 'Don’t Say Gay' being considered by lawmakers in Tennessee has been stalled in the state legislature and may be dead for the rest of the current session.

The bill seeks to ban in educators from initiating any discussion about homosexuality in schools before the eighth grade.

Tennessee's Republican governor had already made clear his desire for the bill to go away.

'It’s not something that I think is particularly helpful or needed right now,' Gov. Bill Haslam told The Tennessean. 'I think the state already has rules in place about what can be taught.'

Sponsors of the bill agreed on Tuesday (13 March) to put off discussion on the bill until the end of the current legislation session later this year – a move that typically signals that a bill is likely dead.

The 100-word bill passed the Senate last year but failed to make it through The House. It was then re-introduced this year.

School counselors have complained that if the bill were to become law, it would get in the way of their ability to answer questions from students that are related to sexual orientation. They also said it would hinder their ability to develop anti-bullying policies aimed at gay slurs or anti-gay behavior.

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