Saturday, 30 April 2011

Proposed Tennessee Law Would Ban Teaching Homosexuality in Schools

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Tennessee state capitolA Tennessee State Senate committee has approved a bill that would prohibit elementary and middle school teachers from discussing homosexuality in their classrooms. Time magazine reported that the legislation, which has been nicknamed the “don’t say gay” bill, “would mandate that before ninth grade, teachers not ‘provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality.’”

Supporters of the bill point out that it does not pick a side in the controversial issue, but simply makes certain that parents, rather than teachers, decide when to discuss the issue with their kids. The author of the bill, Republican State Senator Stacey Campfield, “has been trying to advance the bill for several years as member of the House,” reported Fox News. “But he only got momentum when Republicans won control of the governor’s mansion, House and Senate in November for the first time since the Civil War-era.”

Homosexual rights activists have complained that the bill only restricts teachers from discussing homosexuality, so that the measure appears to have “a more one-sided agenda than the sponsor purports,” reported Time. “That point has led gay-rights activists to call the bill a form of discrimination, especially as it bars teachers from talking about gay issues or sexuality even with students who identify as gay or have gay parents.”

One of the state’s most aggressive homosexual activist groups, the Tennessee Equality Project, has lobbied heavily against the bill, with group spokesman Jonathan Cole calling the measure “a ploy to advance a social agenda into the classroom.” Cole warned Fox News that the bill may “create an unsafe environment for kids who may be gay, lesbian, transgender or just have questions.” Added Cole, “Why is it that legislators are trying to micromanage curriculum? Why don’t they leave it to local schools boards?”

Campfield said his goal in sponsoring the bill is to block the efforts of homosexual activists to infiltrate public school classrooms with an agenda of their own. He pointed to certain children’s curriculums that introduced homosexuality and said that several teachers in the state had told him they were already using the curriculum in their classes.

Campfield cited court cases in which parents challenged the teaching of homosexuality to their kids, including one in Massachusetts, where a couple filed a suit against a Lexington school after their five-year-old son brought home a book featuring a homosexual couple and their “family.” A second couple joined the suit after their child’s second-grade teacher read the class a fairy tale about two princes falling in love. In 2007 a federal judge threw out the suit, ruling that the couples’ beliefs were not violated just because their children were exposed to opposing issues in class.

Noting that in some states, school districts are mandating the teaching of homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle, even to children as young as five years old, Campfield told Fox News that “it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what’s coming,” adding, “Schools shouldn’t be advocating for or against homosexuality.”

As reported by The New American, on April 14 the California Senate gave its approval to the “Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act (FAIR), a proposed law that would mandate that the history of the homosexual movement, along with issues such as same-sex marriage that are dear to the hearts of the homosexual lobby, receive favorable treatment in social studies textbooks, instructional materials, and classroom curricula.”

The bill is now before the California State Assembly, and should it pass, reported The New American, the state’s Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, “will be sure to sign it, making California the first state to intentionally insinuate into textbooks, educational resources, and curricula a positive portrayal of the homosexual lifestyle.”

Photo: Tennessee State Capitol

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