Stop the Don’t Say Gay Bill in the Tennessee State Senate
  • Petitioned Tennessee State Senate

This petition was delivered to:

Tennessee State Senate

Stop the Don’t Say Gay Bill in the Tennessee State Senate

    1. Petition by



On Thursday, April 20, the State Senate Education Committee recommended passage of Senator Stacey Campfield’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill (SB049) in the Senate Education Committee.  As introduced, the bill requires that “no public elementary or middle school shall provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality. “ 

Tennessee’s approved curriculum guidelines include no instruction on homosexuality in the grades K-8. It’s not clear from this bill or the Senate Education Committee debate what would happen if a student asked a question in class about laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation–the teacher might have to respond that he or she is not allowed to discuss such subjects.

The Fiscal Review Committee’s assessment that the cost of this bill is “NOT SIGNIFICANT” is unrealistic. How much will it cost the State of Tennessee to defend Don’t Say Gay when challenged in court on First Amendment free speech grounds?

Don’t Say Gay will tie the hands of school counselors, school psychologists, teachers, principals and other school employees in protecting our children.  If a child is experiencing issues relating to their sexual orientation or identity, they would be unable to discuss those issues with the adults who are supervising and teaching them.  Early detection of the signs of depression can help prevent suicides among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

Bullying is escalating both on and off school grounds, locally and nationally. Many of these incidents involve real and perceived sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.  Research shows that environments hostile toward LGBT youth actually increase the risk of LGBT youth suicide. The Trevor Project suicide hotline records disproportionately high call volume from LGBT youth in Tennessee.  The Don’t Say Gay bill could mean death to LGBT or questioning youth in Tennessee.

This bill is simply a ploy to introduce bias toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Tennessee schools.

Contact Tennessee State Senators and tell them to VOTE NO on the Don’t Say Gay bill.

1.       Send an email message to the Tennessee Senate using this petition.

2.       Then call your Senator by phone. Click HERE to find contact information for your Tennessee State Senator. When calling, give your name and address. Tell them “State Government has no business micromanaging school curriculum in Tennessee. I want my Senator to vote no on SB049. How does my Senator plan to vote on this bill?” Send your Senator’s reply to TEP by email at (Leave a message if you get voicemail)

3.      Share this petition with fellow safe school advocates by email, Facebook and Twitter.


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 2 signatures
    2. As TN Senate Vote on "Don't Say Gay" Bill Nears, Protesters Gather

      Last week, I blogged about the so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill, a piece of Tennessee legislation that would prohibit the discussion of sexual minorities in schools before ninth grade.
      Well, I have good news and bad news. The good? The bill won't have...

    3. Reached 1 signatures
    4. Tennessee: Where You Can't Say Gay in a Classroom?

      Our petition on the "Don't Say Gay" bill regarding Tennessee schools, sponsored by the Tennessee Equality Project, has gathered more than 1,000 signatures in less than one week. But that's not enough to halt this homophobic legislation....

    5. Reached 1 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Robert MacPherson PRINCETON, NJ
      • over 3 years ago

      I went to school in Tennessee.

    • Paul Huffman TEMPE, AZ
      • over 3 years ago

      This legislation is about as neutral as a segregated lunch counter. Your bigotry will make you famous, and we will make sure you know it.

    • Jennifer Cooke JOHNSON CITY, TN
      • over 3 years ago

      This bill is morally wrong and will only promote bullying in our schools. Aside from this, TN has been facing a budget crisis for years. Do we really want more money taken away from education so the legislature can defend this bill in court? Any state senator who is a true Christian and genuinely interested in improving our economy will vote "NO" on this frivolous and mean-spirited bill.

      • over 3 years ago

      are they trying to make these young kids take there life. So what if they are gay that is who they are and for people to be so damn close-minded and not teach anything other than hetro-culture is putting the lgbt kids down and saying no one cares when people should have the right to be happy

    • Lisa Hybner BURLINGTON, CT
      • over 3 years ago

      Whether they pass this bill or not, young people are still going to learn and be exposed to homosexuality from other resources such as; their friends or internet.

      The gay community is growing, The best thing we can do for everyone is be exxposed to it and learn that they aren't much different from the hetro-culture.


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