‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Reintroduced in Tennessee
January 30, 2013 by Carolyn Simon, Deputy Director of Digital Media
The “Don’t Say Gay” bill is back in the Volunteer State – but the latest version is even more hostile to LGBT youth.
As it has in the past, the bill would ban teachers in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade from discussing homosexuality, and specifies classroom instruction must only cover “natural human reproduction science.” But the new version of the bill would also require teachers to tell parents if their child is LGBT.
The deck is stacked against LGBT youth. Thirty percent of LGBT-identified youths say their family is not accepting or is homo-, bi- or transphobic, according to Growing Up LGBT in America—the Human Rights Campaign’s groundbreaking research among more than 10,000 LGBT–identified youth ages 13 to 17.
"They would throw me out if I told anyone in my extended family. So I have to keep my mouth shut, otherwise I would end up penniless and homeless,” said one of the youths in the report.
The bill was passed in the Tennessee Senate in 2011, but died when the Legislature adjourned in April 2012.
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