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Thread: Tennessee's "Don't Say Gay" Law

  1. #1

    Default Tennessee's "Don't Say Gay" Law

    I am just curious. I know there are a few Gay's on Adisc. I was just wondering if Gay's are against this just because of the name it has been given and the sensational media coverage or if they actually have read and understand the law and think it is unjust.

    Here is the actual wording of the law...

    (1) The general assembly recognizes the sensitivity of particular subjects
    that are best explained and discussed in the home. Human sexuality is a
    complex subject with societal, scientific, psychological, and historical
    implications; those implications are best understood by children with sufficient
    maturity to grasp their complexity.
    (2) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no public elementary or
    middle school shall provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual
    orientation other than heterosexuality.

    So the way i understand it. It is referring to the actual teaching of human reproduction and physiological sexuality. And even though gay couples can adopt or use artificial insemination, i don't think any of them have actually conceived a child the "old-fashioned" way. So to me this law is justified in saying that it does not need to be taught in a lesson about sexual reproduction. And it is limited to Elementary and Middle School. And even though i know some have said they knew they were gay before middle school, i would think most middle schoolers have not yet made that desision nor fully understand that decision.

    It does not Ban teachers from saying Gay as the media and the name it has been given suggest.

    Just curious, your thoughts?

    ---------- Post added at 04:56 ---------- Previous post was at 04:48 ----------

    Please don't be offended or take this the wrong way. And i apologize if i did not use politically correct terminology. I have no problem with homosexuality. I just think that people are throwing this law way out of proportion. And that most just hear the title that the media has given it and make a snap judgement based on that. I would wager that most of those that are speaking out so negatively about it have never even read the actual bill.

    Is there any need to have educational instruction on someone's lifestyle choice or sexual preference.

    I understand the need to educate on Heterosexuality because it teaches how the body works and what all the "parts" are for.

    But what is the educational point of teaching about Homosexuality?

  2. #2


    Yeah.. why does it matter some more awesome word is going to take it's place!

    But really, once it goes to the supreme court it's going to be struck down. There's really no understandable reason why the word gay should be banned for ANY reason. Yes that even means when it's used as a insult against something. such as, "the nintendo Wii was gay with it's lack of AAA titles."

    Not matter how much Wanda Sykes may want to whine about that.

  3. #3


    I think this looks pretty bad.

    Para 1 is weaselling: it actually provides a route for teachers to say "we aren't prepared to talk about sex, you aren't old enough to be thinking about it yet", or (worse) "ask your mom and dad".

    The trouble with this is that physically kids are growing up much faster these days (the average age at which they reach sexual maturity is a lot lower than it used to be), but mentally they are not. Kids who don't understand the implications of what is happening to their bodies are vulnerable in all sorts of ways. One obvious measure is that of under-age pregnancies: as I understand it the US rate is very high indeed. We have the same issue in the UK, mainly because we continue to have a "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" approach to sex and sexuality, and an audible lobby pushing against early sex education. In the Netherlands, the culture is very different, sex is treated as something normal, and their teen pregnancy rate is the lowest in Europe.

    A second less obvious measure is the need for someone to talk to. A London clergyman called Chad Varah set up a telephone helpline way back in 1953 - you may have heard of it, a thing called the Samaritans. The reason he did this goes back another 18 years to his first funeral as an assistant curate in 1935. A 14-year old girl had committed suicide because she had started to menstruate, and had no-one to tell her this was normal. The original Samaritans service was not envisaged as serving children - but we now have Childline in the UK, handling 700,000 calls a year.

    As regards Para 2, the key word is "orientation". It tells kids that the only "normal" family relationship is that between a man and a woman. For exactly the same reason as above - the gap between physical and emotional maturity - that is going to leave some kids confused, frightened, and vulnerable.

    I suspect the law will go through, but I would have to see it as a retrograde step if it does.


  4. #4


    I love tekei, but he is a nut!

    But again, i think we have another failure to read the actual Law. It has nothing to do with the word GAY, but the educational value of teaching about a lifestyle that has nothing to do with the science of sexual reproduction.

  5. #5


    Actuality I really really hope this law passes. Just so we can watch the hilarity that ensues when they try to enforce it and then the supreme court just go like.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by ABalex View Post
    Please don't be offended or take this the wrong way. And i apologize if i did not use politically correct terminology. I have no problem with homosexuality. I just think that people are throwing this law way out of proportion. And that most just hear the title that the media has given it and make a snap judgement based on that. I would wager that most of those that are speaking out so negatively about it have never even read the actual bill.

    Is there any need to have educational instruction on someone's lifestyle choice or sexual preference.

    I understand the need to educate on Heterosexuality because it teaches how the body works and what all the "parts" are for.

    But what is the educational point of teaching about Homosexuality?
    Hi Alex,

    I think that there was very little to take exception to in your original posting. For the reasons I've already posted I think you will understand that I don't agree with you, but you have your own reasons for believing what you do - and it's certainly a more mature approach than the "don't say gay" tag your media are using for it, because you have started to deal with the bigger issues that the media ignore.

    The point about teaching homosexuality is that there is a reasonable amount of evidence that it is not a lifestyle choice, but something that is either genetic, or a result of nurture, or some combination of the two. It is safe to assume that if there is a genetic component to homosexual orientation, it can be described as normal just as you would describe a right- or left-handed person as normal.

    But even if there were no genetic component, the principal of equitability would require that anyone whose nurture had left them homosexual be given an opportunity to their own pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - because they are not responsible for how they have turned out. You would apply this principal with any other category of person whose brain was differently wired (someone learning-disabled, say): what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander also.



  7. #7


    I don't see anything unconstitutional about it. In fact i think it would be more unconstitutional if it was the opposite. Teaching about homosexuality is the same as teaching Christianity, Islam, Buhdism, etc. It is a belief system and a lifestyle. There is no educational value of teaching on someones beliefs unless it is how those beliefs affected history.

    Teaching about the Christians who started the Crusades
    Teaching on Buddhism as the primary religion of Tibet
    Teaching how the homosexuals founded San Francisco (LOL, ok sorry about that one)

    As far as it relates to the "science" of sexuality... homosexuality has no impact on how it "works"

    I guess if you believe that homosexuality is caused by over exposure to certain hormones during the birth process, you could teach it in a class about birth defects. But i think that would be more offensive to the Homosexual community than not teaching about it at all.

    (Disclaimer: this last point was made to show an example. I do not believe there is anything defective about homosexuals)

    ---------- Post added at 06:22 ---------- Previous post was at 06:15 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by BabyArtie View Post

    Aw, thanks for the hugs.

    I can definitely see your view point. i think my major arguments about those points were covered in my last post. For some reason in America, there is nothing equitable about our education. It seems to be a teach none or teach all when it comes to beliefs.

    Origins of the universe. If you teach "big bang", you have to teach "creative-design" since it regarded as the only other alternative.

    But when it comes to religious views or beliefs, it is none. Don't talk about Christianity, or Islam, or Satanic Rituals, or anything.

  8. #8


    Living in the UK I don't know much about this bill, however, it seems a rather extremist action to ban material that discusses sexual orientations other than heterosexualism.

    In England & Wales Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) is a compulsory subject within the curriculum, and part of PSHE is that children are taught sex education; sex education covers puberty and the biology of reproduction (although that is also covered in science), but also looks at the emotional sides of being in a relationship and what it means to be in love. Amongst older children in secondary schools it goes deeper and teaches children about contraception and STIs etc, and should be something children and young people receive throughout their education, at an age-appropriate level. PSHE is taught from when children start primary school (5-11) but usually the sex education aspects are first taught around age 10. Because it was recognised that this might be an awkward, uncomfortable or daunting subject to teach to children part of my training to be a primary teacher included looking specifically at how to deliver sex education, and how to deal with the questions children are likely to bring up. It was very much encouraged that we would discuss the existence of non-heterosexual relationships with children and try to promote understanding and we looked at a number of books, videos and other resources which we might use to help explain homosexual relationships to children, even picture books for very young children. Children are curious and children enter the classroom with pre-existing knowledge from their real lives and from the media, most children already know about non-heterosexual relationships by the time they begin to be taught sex education formally, and so to ban discussing this in the classroom or teaching children about difference seems to promote an education system in which children are left confused or thinking that non-heterosexual relationships are wrong.

    I think children should be taught about non-heterosexual relationships in school. We no longer live in a society where people always meet someone of the opposite sex, get married, have children and stay together forever. There are many people living within families which would be considered outside of this 'norm,' and there will be children who are living within such families. Whilst it is undoubtedly important that children are taught about reproduction, and as such heterosexual relationships, I think that difference needs to be recognised for this reason. Some children in schools will have two single-sex parents, or will be adopted, or will be in a single-parent family, or will have a transgendered parent, or will have step-parents etc. This should be recognised and discussed with children; education should answer children's questions rather than leave them confused or wondering where they came from. I also think that promoting diversity amongst young children is a very positive thing for schools to be doing; children are far more accepting than teens and adults, and so talking about difference, and highlighting that difference is normal and not something that we should be scared, ashamed or disgusted of, is a positive thing. I fail to see how pretending that difference does not or cannot exist for the first 8 years or so of a child's education can be a positive thing, and I think it will just lead to more prejudice when the topic is breached when they are teens.

  9. #9


    I heard about it and I find it disturbing. In my opinion, all schools should include the lessons about homosexuality and treat them like any other person in the society. Children need an eduction on homosexuality, tell them that there's nothing wrong with them and it's their choice who they want to be.

    Banning from teaching homosexuality, it might create more violence between homosexuals and heterosexuals in the future. Frankly, I am tired of hearing homosexuals being bullied, abused etc on the news. That's only because the bullies have no eduction about homosexuals at all and thinks they are bad influence to society.

    Also, I agree with babyjess's post above as well.

  10. #10


    I agree mostly with the concept of the law, and here's why...

    I am not a parent yet, but if I was, I would think it is part of my responsibility as a parent, not the schools or the government, to discuss with my children about the birds and the bees so to speak, and this includes both heterosexual and homosexual sex. I also think that as a parent it should be my decision as to when and how MY children are introduced to these concepts. I think there needs to be someone they know they can trust completely (i.e. parents or guardian) to be present when this conversation occurs so that they feel safe and comfortable asking whatever questions they have. This conversation is when those books for young children someone was talking about should be used... as a tool to help the parent explain things, NOT in school.

    That being said, if a parent hasn't done this by middle school (age 11 or 12) then obviously it's going to be impossible for the school to even teach about how animals reproduce without talking about human sexuality as well, and parents should expect it to be discussed on some level. Not to mention by that age they are going to have already been introduced to these concepts by peers or media or something else so if you as a parent haven't discussed it with them by then, you're most likely already too late, and have failed your responsibility as a parent.

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