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.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Human Rights Campaign discusses the Don't Say Gay bill

From the HRC Back Story blog:

It’s worth calling attention to a bill in Tennessee that uniquely grabs attention as an example of legislation threatening to break new ground in terms of extremism. House Bill 821, introduced by State Rep. Stacey Campfield, will be debated in the Tennessee House K-12 Subcommittee on Wednesday, March 18. ...

This is, quite simply, an attempt to control what teachers and schools teach. Consider what effects this bill could have if it becomes law: teachers could be prohibited from even mentioning the fact that lesbian, gay, and bisexual people exist. It is quite possible that school libraries would fail to comply with the law if their shelves contained books with lesbian, gay, or bisexual characters. It’s not clear what would happen if a student asked a question in class about laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation–the teacher might have to respond that he or she is not allowed to discuss such subjects.

This legislation raises serious issues of bias as well as free speech. It reminds us, not that we need reminding, that there are people with very extreme anti-LGBT goals. These goals apparently include controlling what teachers and students say in the classroom.

No comments: