'Don't Say Gay' Bill Advances in Tennessee

Bill bans teachers from discussing homosexuality before High School
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2012 11:55 AM CST
'Don't Say Gay' Bill Advances in Tennessee
Opponents of a bill prohibiting the teaching of gay issues to elementary and middle school students wear purple to a meeting of the House Education Subcommittee in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 15, 2012.   (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

(Newser) – A controversial bill banning Tennessee elementary and middle school teachers from teaching students about homosexuality got approval from the state's House Education subcommittee yesterday, inching it closer to law. The committee approved the same version of the so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill that the Senate passed late last year, the Tennessean reports, meaning it allows teachers to respond to questions about homosexuality. Dozens of Nashville high school students showed up to protest the bill, clad in purple T-shirts.

"The basic right as an American is my right to life, my right to liberty, and my right to the pursuit of happiness," said one Democrat who supported the bill. "Within that includes being able to … raise my children as I see fit and to indoctrinate them as I see fit." But opponents of the bill argue that it will give students the impression that homosexuality carries a stigma. (Read more Don't Say Gay bill stories.)

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