"Don't Say Gay" Passes in Tenn. Senate

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com May 20 2011 12:35 PM ET

State Sen. Stacey Campfield's proposed "Don't Say Gay" bill passed the Tennessee senate Friday with a 20-10 vote. The measure passed after an amendment was added to restrict the ban only to lessons related to homosexuality, and not all speech, specifically unplanned discussions in classrooms.

Democrats in the senate pointed out that the state already bans sexual education in elementary and middle school instruction. Sen. Andy Berke said the bill was unnecessary, and only being passed "just to pass it," The Tennessean reports.

A companion bill in the house of representatives has not advanced out of committee. Earlier this month, Rep. Bill Dunn said the process started too late in the year, since the house education subcommittee has closed until 2012.