Tennessee state Sen. Stacey Campfield (R) has reintroduced his “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which not only prevents public school educators from discussing the existence of LGBT people, but now also would mandate teachers and counselors out LGBT students to their parents without their consent. Campfield’s views on homosexuality live up to the threat of his odious bill, according to Nashville Public Radio:
CAMPFIELD: I can’t speak from personal experience, but being homosexual in and of itself is not deadly or dangerous. The act of homosexuality is very dangerous.
He made similar comments in a video interview with The Tennessean, blaming the likelihood of getting AIDS for his “deadly” condemnation. Watch it:
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Campfield is borrowing his narrative from the “love the sinner, hate the sin” motto adopted by the Catholic Church and other religious groups to sugarcoat their continued stigmatization of gays and lesbians. A person’s sexual orientation is a core part of their identity that transcends any sexual behavior they might engage in. To separate the two is to erase the community entirely.
But Campfield’s views are more absurd than that. He doesn’t just believe that homosexuality is “dangerous” because of the potential spread of HIV, he actually believes that AIDS “came from the homosexual community — it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall.” He also believes that homosexuality is a “learned behavior” comparable to bestiality. Defending his bill, Campfield has described any teacher who might mention the existence of gay people as “radical,” because they ought to “spend more time on arithmetic.”