Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Gays still not welcome in Tennessee

Or so it would seem:
Members of Tennessee's LGBT community spent most of the day lobbying lawmakers successfully helping derail one bill and voicing strong concerns about another that would severely restrict gay rights in the state.

The derailed bill would have barred elementary and secondary schools from "any instruction or materials discussing sexual orientation other than heterosexuality". The other would ban unmarried couples from adopting or becoming foster parents.


Teachers should neither be promoting nor speaking against homosexuality, [Stacey] Campfield told the Tennessean newspaper.

"They should not talk about it all," Campfield said. "Leave it up to families to talk about it."

And... why is that? School is about informing people and helping to prepare them for their adult lives. Why should we inform them of heterosexuality but not homosexuality? That is, why should we only provide information that will help a select group of people in their lives, and completely ignore all the other people--people who, quite frankly, probably need information and assurances much more than the people you're willing to talk about.
The adoption ban, meanwhile, is advancing in the legislature. While the measure does not bar single people, gay or straight, from adopting or fostering, couples would have to be legally married.


[Attorney General Bob] Cooper in his legal opinion said that under current state law anyone 18 years of age or older may adopt, assuming the adoption is found to be in the best interest of the child."

"There is no prohibition in Tennessee statutes against adoption by a same sex couple," he said.


Socially conservative groups that won a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage say that if the legislature does not pass an adoption bill they will begin collecting signatures for a constitutional amendment barring gays from adopting in the Tennessee.

For the children, right? Nothing says you love children like making sure they rot in orphanages rather than get adopted by fit parents.

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