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‘Don’t Say Gay’ Gets a New House Sponsor

NASHVILLE – A Senate-passed bill nicknamed “don’t say gay” is scheduled for debate today in a House subcommittee with a new sponsor.
State Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, who as House sponsor last year decided not to bring the bill up in committee, said Tuesday he had turned the measure over to state Rep. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, “for strategic reasons.”
Dunn is a member of the House Education Subcommittee scheduled to hear the bill (SB49) this afternoon. Dunn said he will vote for the measure and believes, as modified by a Senate amendment, it is less controversial than the original version filed by himself and Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville.
The original version declared that “no public elementary or middle school shall provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality.”
UPDATE: House Education Chairman Richard Montgomery says that, at his request, Hensley has agreed to postpone action on the bill for “a week or two.” Montgomery said he was responding to committee members who wanted more time to study the issue and that he is somewhat unfamiliar with the bill himself, as amended by on the Senate floor.