Tag Archives: kos

Rep. Ragan: ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bashing Unfair, Uninformed

State Rep. John Ragan says the fresh round of criticism he has faced for sponsorship of so-called “don’t say gay” bill is uninformed and unfair because he was trying to completely transform the bill so that it had “absolutely nothing to do” with homosexuality.
“It really irritates me in a major fashion,” said Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, in an interview.
An article posted on both The Daily Kos and The Huffington Post chides StudentsFirst, a national education reform organization, for declaring Ragan a Tennessee “educational reformer of the year” while he was sponsor of the “don’t say gay” bill (HB1332).
“The latest version would have forced select Tennessee school officials to notify parents of children who privately discussed their sexual orientation, essentially dictating forced ‘outing’ of kids, even against their own objections,” the article says. “Ragan’s proposed education bill is more than just ignorant and wrong, and bad policy, it’s downright dangerous and does anything but ‘put students first.’ ”

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Rep. Ragan Deemed ‘Reformer of the Year’ by Oversight?

State Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, has been designated a “reformer of the year” by StudentsFirst, which also gave $6,500 to his reelection campaign. This has inspired a critical article in the Daily Kos after bloggers discovered that he also sponsored the so-called “don’t say gay” bill along with Sen. Stacey Campfield. (And couldn’t get a second for passage in a House subcommittee, HERE.)
Excerpt:
Eric Lerum, StudentsFirst’s VP of national policy offered some responses to angry backlash on Twitter Friday night, claiming they were unaware of John Ragan’s anti-gay history and “We wouldn’t have endorsed had we known.” He alluded Ragan’s selection was a candidate vetting snafu.
As vetting goes, one need simply type “John Ragan'” into the Tennessee legislature’s website to see Ragan filed HB 1332, the “Classroom Protection Act” back on February 14, 2013. It even pops up with a great big bold lead-in that says: “Education” so this educational political action group could easily find bills of interest to them. The legislative history for HB 1332 shows seven actions were taken on the bill until late March 2013 including lots of activity in the House Education Subcommittee.

Which, of course, perhaps indicates that discerning readers of this blog are more informed about Tennessee legislators and their doings than either StudentsFirst or The Daily Kos. (Sample Ragan posts HERE, HERE and HERE.)