"Don't Say Gay" Bill Advances; Next Up House Vote

BY Lucas Grindley

April 18 2012 6:15 PM ET

Tennessee's "don't say gay" bill is headed to the full House for consideration after having barely made its way out of a committee today.

The House Education Committee voted 8-7 to advance the bill, the Tennessean reports, but that didn't include Republican chairman Richard Montgomery.

And Republican governor Bill Haslam has repeatedly said he wishes lawmakers would move on to more important issues. Haslam hasn't gone so far as to say he would veto the measure if it comes to him.

He also seemed unhappy to have what was called "the monkey bill" land in his lap last month. Instead of signing the law, which extends legal protections to teachers who want to discuss the possibility that creationism is real or that global warming isn't, Haslam waited and waited and eventually let the law go into effect without his signature.

Last time around, the House ran out of time to vote on the "don't say gay" law while the Senate actually passed it. It would bar teachers and administrators from any talk of homosexuality before high school and violators would face fines and jail time. Backers of the bill don't appear to be backing down.

“I have two children — in the third- and fourth-grade — and don’t want them to be exposed to things I don’t agree with,” said the bill's sponsor, Republican representative Joey Hensley, according to the Tennessean.









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