What is it with the extreme right? If their efforts to undermine the rights of some fall short of their expectations, they just move on to target someone else? Someone with less clout or who’s more vulnerable?
That seems to be how Tennessee Senator Stacey Campfield operates. His latest push — well, more of a reincarnation of his next-to-latest push — is to ban any conversation of sexuality in grades K – 8, except for heterosexuality, of course, and to make it mandatory for nurses and guidance counselors to tell parents if their child says they are gay or in any way questioning. Campfield’s reasoning? To protect students. Uh-huh, that’s his story and he’s sticking to it. And, in this second push for this backward bill, Campfield has slyly changed the name from “Don’t Say Gay” to “Classroom Protection Act”.
Fortunately, the ACLU is watching this, and writing about it too. In Chris Hampton’s February 1 piece, he writes about the challenges many LGBT kids face when they come out — or are outed to — their families, including being thrown out of their homes. The statistics he shares are bleak, but the case of Marcus Wayman of Minersville, Pennsylvania who killed himself after being told by a police officer to tell his family or he (the cop) would, puts a face on those statistics. And the horror kids in Tennessee might face if Campfield has his way.
This is one to watch. And to stop.