The City Paper's Jeff Woods has done it again. He has managed to get Governor Bill Haslam on the record about the Don't Say Gay bill. And while I'm giving credit, I should say that the administration is not and was not a fan of the bill during the legislative session. That was evident in some of the committee debate on the nationally despised legislation. Here are the Governor's words:
“The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill didn’t pass and probably is never going to pass. At the same time, we hired Chris Barbic to run the Achievement School District, which is a huge deal. That got this much attention,” the governor said, holding his fingers an inch apart. “ ‘Don’t Say Gay’ got 100 articles. Well, something’s wrong with that picture.
“ ‘Don’t Say Gay’ is real sexy and yada yada yada. It’s not going anywhere. Who runs the Student Achievement District is huge. But you’d be lucky to find two paragraphs on that.
First, it's good to know the Governor doesn't think the bill will pass. It did, however, pass in a modified form in the Senate. I hope the Governor shares his views with Rep. Bill Dunn in the House. Second, the Governor's right when he says that "somethings wrong with that picture." But it's not the media coverage. It is a public outrage when Tennessee lawmakers try to disappear an entire group of people in our public schools and make life more difficult for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students. The media is naturally going to cover that. What's wrong with the picture is legislative leadership that won't rein in their extreme members who push such bills. Third, it's kind of cool that the Governor calls the bill the same thing that we call it.