"Don't Say Gay" Bill Defeated

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With the 107th Tennessee General Assembly's adjornment yesterday came big news of the death of a long-running bill aimed at silencing discussion of homosexuality in schools.

State Representative Joey Hensley, the GOP sponsor of the bill, decided not to bring the bill up for a vote due to the "opposition of some people who didn't want to vote on it," he told the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill, the legislation would have forbidden any public elementary or middle school from providing instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality. The bill has faced fierce opposition (and even national mockery) over the years, as critics warned that passage could lead to a more hostile environment for LGBT kids and teens.

The bill passed the Senate last year, and it won approval by the House Education Committee this year. But it died before being approved by the House Calendar and Rules Committee, a necessary step before reaching the full House floor for a vote.

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