Senate adopts 'don't say gay' bill with 'natural human reproduction science' teaching amendment

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 12:25pm

The state Senate adopted the controversial “don’t say gay” bill Friday but amended it first to allow only the teaching of “natural human reproduction science” in public schools.

Democrats argued the amendment actually liberalizes state law, which now makes it a misdemeanor to teach any kind of sex education before the ninth grade.

The Senate voted 19-11 for the bill with Sen. Douglas Henry, D-Nashville, joining Republicans in support. The companion bill in the House is dead for this session, but it could be revived next year.

The “don’t say gay” bill by Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, has drawn national criticism this session. Nashville high school students have made regular trips to the Capitol to demonstrate against it, chanting “It’s OK to say gay!”

In its original form, it would have made it illegal for teachers to discuss homosexuality in the classroom before the ninth grade. Sen. Kerry Roberts, R-Springfield, proposed the amendment, which decrees that instruction “shall be limited exclusively to natural human reproduction science.” Campfield supported that.

Sen. Tim Barnes, D-Clarksville, asked, “Why is the word ‘natural’ in there? I’m unaware of any unnatural human reproduction and it seems to me that word is superfluous.”

Roberts replied that he wanted to forbid any teaching of artificial insemination.

“We wanted to keep it as basic and fundamental as possible,” he said. “Instruction like this should really be at home by the parents. That’s really our intent here.”

Sen. Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga, said the bill would essentially overturn a 40-year-old state law that prohibits the teaching of sex education in the early grades.

“We have been steadfast in our desire to say that we should not have age-inappropriate material in grades K-8, going so far as to make that a criminal misdemeanor if you violate that. What we’re doing here is passing something just to pass it, which will actually allow people to teach this.”

8 Comments on this post:

By: NewYorker1 on 5/20/11 at 3:48

It doesn't really matter. People are not stupid and know what's better anyway. Smooches....

By: NewYorker1 on 5/20/11 at 3:55

I wonder why I get hit on my so many married men. I turn them down because I'm number one and can't accept being number two. At any rate, the same people fighting against gays are the same ones on the down low. Give me a break. Watch your husbands ladies, the grass isn't as green as you think it is. Trust me.

By: pswindle on 5/20/11 at 4:30

Words fail me. What rights are they taking away from us the next time. I thougth that the GOP does not want the government in thier lives. Crazy!

By: ididntdoit on 5/20/11 at 4:57

"Gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay!"

By: treehugger7 on 5/21/11 at 7:26

When do these idiots go back to their podunk towns and leave us adults in Nashville alone! Go home and and stop legislating--if you can call it that.

By: Radix on 5/21/11 at 10:56

Its a shame this kind of legislation is necessary. The far left sees public schools as an opportunity to 'educate' (indoctrinate) our youngest children when they are most vulnerable. Teach your kids what you want at home, but public schools are for everyone. With my tax dollars, I prefer we stick to the things we agree on. Reading and math etc.... I'll handle the controversial topics when my child is ready.

By: pswindle on 5/21/11 at 11:04

This makes me want to holler, GAY

By: localboy on 5/21/11 at 12:03

I don't mind admitting I'm a happy type of guy...oh, that's not what they meant...