Tennessee lawmakers advance "Don't Say Gay" bill - CBS46 News

Tennessee lawmakers advance so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill

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Source:  WSMV/CNN Source: WSMV/CNN

Tennessee lawmakers have just advanced one of the most emotionally charged bills to go before the State House in years. 

Several dozen students showed up at the hearing on Wednesday, wearing purple tape across their mouths in protest.  They were protesting the "Don't Say Gay" Bill.

The House Education subcommittee has approved the controversial measure, which would ban Tennessee public schools from teaching about gay and lesbian subject matters to elementary and middle school students.  

"This bill, if amended, does not prohibit the use of the word gay, it does not change the anti-bullying statute, and it does not prohibit a school guidance counselor from discussing issue of sexuality with a student," said Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville). 

"I think this law will just kinda draw more attention to Tennessee as a place where it is not safe for youth in general to be themselves and try to live a happy life," said a student who opposes the bill.

The Tennessee Governor's office says they will not publicly choose a side on the issue.  The bill will continue for further debate before the House.

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