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.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tennessee Senate Passes SB0049

The Senate voted to approve an amended version of SB0049 by a vote of 19 to 11. Often described as the "Don't Say Gay" Bill by opponents, the bill including its amendment in purple now reads:

AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 6, Part 10, relative to education. 


SECTION 1.  Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 49-6-1005, is amended by adding the following as new subsection (c) and by relettering the existing subsection (c) accordingly: 


(1) The general assembly recognizes the sensitivity of particular subjects that are best explained and discussed in the home.  Human sexuality is a complex subject with societal, scientific, psychological, and historical implications; those implications are best understood by children with sufficient maturity to grasp their complexity. 

(2)  Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, any instruction or materials made available or provided at or to a public elementary or middle school shall be limited exclusively to natural human reproduction science.  The provisions of this subdivision shall also apply to a group or organization that provides instruction in natural human reproduction science in public elementary or middle schools   

SECTION 2.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it.

Tennessee Equality Project observes that the amended version of SB0049 no longer makes direct reference to sexual orientation. However, SB0049 and its House companion (HB0229) remain a threat to safe schools in Tennessee. The State House of Representatives is expected to review HB0229 as early as January of 2012. TEP will continue to advocate against both versions of the Don't Say Gay Bill. 

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