On Wednesday, the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill advanced out of the Tennessee Senate Education Committee. The measure, which has been introduced multiple times since 2005, would prohibit teachers from discussing homosexuality in grades K through 8, even with students who may be gay or have gay family. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Stacey Campfield (R), has previously rationalized the measure by arguing that it would allow teachers more time to focus on core subjects like arithmetic, but during a 2009 interview with SiriusXM’s Michelangelo Signorile, Campfield went a step further. He said that homosexuality is a “learned” behavior and compared the Gay Rights Movement to bestiality:
CAMPFIELD: What you’re getting into is the thing, is it a genetic issue or is it none genetic issue? Is it a learned behavior or is it something that cannot be controlled? [...]
SIGNORILE: Most of the science now shows that homosexuality is something biological…
CAMPFIELD: No. You don’t believe that. Who are you kidding? Come’n now. [...]
SIGNORILE: You teach about the Civil Rights Movement. Why not teach about the Gay Rights Movement?
CAMPFIELD: Because they’re different types of movements. If I want to talk about the bestiality movement, do you think we should be teaching that?
The bill (SB49) now advances for consideration by the full Senate. A similar bill (HB229) has not advanced out of the House Education General Subcommittee.