"Don't Say Gay" Bill Returns, But Is It Headed for Passage?
BY Lucas Grindley
January 18 2012 8:56 PM ET
The "don't say gay" bill that failed to make it out of the Tennessee legislature last year is back and being considered by a House committee.
Tennessee media reported that the bill was expected to be heard in the House Education Subcommittee today. But the Associated Press reports that it was delayed when some members of the committee said they needed more time to understand its implications.
The legislation has been called the "don't say gay" bill because it would bar teachers from discussing homosexuality in public school classes in kindergarten through eighth grade. It managed to pass the state Senate on a 20-10 vote last year. But the House ran out of time to consider it.
The state's Republican governor, Bill Haslam, had said it "probably is never going to pass" in an interview last year with Nashville's City Paper. But Republican representative Joey Hensley, who is sponsoring the bill, told AP that he expects it will advance out of committee this year.
After the bill's reemergence, Jonathan Cole, president of the Tennessee Equality Project, said he got loads of inquiries from people who planned to attend the subcommittee hearing to ensure their side was heard. But even with the bill's delay, the group warned its Facebook followers that "deferral does not mean that we are out of the woods. The threat of this bill remains."