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The GEM Debate: Do You Agree With The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law?

Stacey Campfield

Here at Good Enough Mother we’ve never met a controversy we didn’t want to weigh in on, and now we have a new topic to debate, courtesy of Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield.

You see Senator Campfield is trying to make it illegal for grade school and middle school teachers to discuss any sexual orientation other than heterosexuality before the ninth grade. The law’s being called the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law and is well on the way to becoming official – and stoking up a whole heap of controversy.

So yesterday Stacey made an appearance on CNN where he laid out his rational for the proposed legislation. Take a look:


Now we’re been here before at Good Enough Mother and we all knows kids, sex education and homosexuality are hot button issues (remember our recent fiercely argued Kids In The Castro debate?)

So here’s my take. Personally I have a couple of issues with this proposed law. First up, at least the lawmakers were enlightened enough to word homosexuality as an “orientation” instead of  a “preference”. You know what side of the coin I fall on on that one; not for a second do I believe that people choose to be gay just as I don’t believe people choose to be straight. It just is who you are.

But orientation isn’t a switch that is flipped the freshman year of high school. Judging by the sheer amount of Axe my son applies everyday, attraction, whether to the same or opposite sex, happens well before then.

The other thing that would be laughable if it weren’t so bizarre is this notion of “pushing” homosexuality. So wait, is Senator Campfield hoping that by not saying the word “gay”, society will be able to do away with homosexuality? Good Lord, man, you don’t make people gay by saying the word! If anyone needs a crash course in sex-ed it’s this dude.

Now, having said that, I need to make one more point crystal clear. I am absolutely against passing legislation that would make discussing a form of human sexuality illegal. But as a parent I want to be the one to broach the topic of sex with my kids, as I have been doing for years. To me, it’s an issue of context.  I explained to my kids years ago that some people were gay, some straight but that they were all people deserving of love End of discussion.

The problem is not all parents have those talks or are that open with their children so it falls to the education system to fill in the blanks. Outlawing the discussion of something that takes place in roughly 10 percent of the animal kingdom (humans included) is not filling in the blanks or even coming close to your stated goal of educating youngsters. Instead you further confuse those who might come to you for answers and throw in a heaping helping of shame in the process.  The best choice is that this information comes from parents but I’m hard pressed to think of a worse option than tongue-tying teachers about it.

Okay, that’s my take, your turn now.

Here’s today’s GEM Debate:

Do you agree with Campfield’s proposed law? Is outlawing talk of anything other than heterosexuality until the ninth grade a good idea? Why or why not? And how have you broached this and other topics of sex with your kids?

Fire away!



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