Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Premarital sex and adultery shake the House

The Tennessean has posted this video of last week's House Judiciary Committee debate on Rep. Stacey Campfield's (R-Knoxville) paternity bill. Rep. Rob Briley (D-Nashville) peppered Rep. Campfield with questions about whether he believes premarital sex and adultery are wrong. Rep. Campfield replied that he didn't know what those questions had to do with the bill. He didn't directly answer the question about premarital sex, but finally did say that adultery is wrong.

Most commentators seem to be focusing on the testiness of the exchange and Briley's comment that the bill is one of the most "anti-child" bills he's ever seen.

What I think will be of interest to the GLBT community and what may be of interest to conservatives is the pass that premarital (straight) sex gets while some legislators on the Right continue to look for ways to draw bills limiting GLBT rights. Consider Rep. Campfield's HB2997 which would prohibit instruction in human sexuality other than heterosexuality in grades K-8.

How does this pass for premarital sex fit with the cluster of family values and abstinence only education?

Sen. Paul Stanley's bill banning adoption by unmarried cohabiting couples in a sexual relationship is at least more consistent with family values discourse, though no more palatable.

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