I Suppose This is Simpler Than Having Them Sew Pink Triangles Onto Their Shirts

Yeah, I went full Godwin. So did Tennessee:

Tennessee’s so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay‘ bill died with the adjournment of the state assembly last year. But now the measure is back — with new, harsher requirements.

The bill, SB 234, still bars Tennessee teachers from discussing any facet of “non-heterosexual” sexuality with children in grades K-8. But the newest iteration also includes a provision requiring teachers or counselors to inform the parents of some students who identify themselves as LGBT.

These people are sick.

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63 replies
  1. 1
    Jewish Steel says:

    I want to say I’ve seen this film before somehow…

  2. 2
    Davis X. Machina says:

    It’s a violence-reduction measure.

    This way the beatings at home are focused, instead of being broadly administered, on spec, willy-nilly.

  3. 3
    satby says:

    Sick, vicious, and very much eliminationists in that they would (if they could) get rid of all of us “others” who mess up their beautiful white hetero fanatsy world.

  4. 4
    greenergood says:

    Just out of curiosity, but does Tennessee require teachers ‘to inform the parents of some students who identify themselves’ as gun-fanciers, heterosexually promiscuous, into taking drugs, or believing in evolution?

  5. 5
    Hungry Joe says:

    I wonder if there’ll be a standardized form.

    Dear Parent/Guardian, Your son/daughter is gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/something else that we can’t quite figure out but we’re pretty sure is degenerate. Just thought you’d want to know. Remember that the deadline for yearbook orders is ________!

  6. 6
    Woody says:

    Let’s imagine the reaction of parents should a Tennessee teacher notify them that their child has “self-identified” as same-gender-oriented.

    They’ll be treated like urologists!

  7. 7
    PaulW says:

    In other news, chimpanzees are filing a motion in Tennessee courts to establish a restraining order on homo sapiens. They want the courts to reflect that humans are in no way related to any of the ape family.

  8. 8
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Next up: A bill that will put LGBTs into “camps” where they can better “concentrate” on finding “final solutions” to their problems.

    …what?

  9. 9
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Looks like the Uganadan legislature is advising Tennessee’s.

  10. 10
    ruemara says:

    Can we rescue all the Tennessee children? And whatever liberals are stuck there?

  11. 11
    greennotGreen says:

    @ruemara: Just like Austin wanted to secede from Texas, can Nashville secede from Tennessee?

  12. 12
    bemused says:

    @PaulW:

    Ha, I read your comment, glance over to the side and see an ad for a t-shirt saying Gone Sasquatchin’ with image.

  13. 13
    greennotGreen says:

    BTW, I have often said that one has to fail an IQ test to get into the Tennessee legislature. The few who aren’t idiots cheated on that test.

  14. 14
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    Next up: A bill that will put LGBTs into “camps” where they can better “concentrate” on finding “final solutions” to their problems.

    Already advocated by a preacher here in North Carolina.

  15. 15
    MikeJ says:

    @greennotGreen:

    Just like Austin wanted to secede from Texas, can Nashville secede from Tennessee?

    I think midtown Memphis might want to go with you, but I haven’t been there in years.

  16. 16
    FlyingToaster says:

    Okay, this is a new twist on “mandated reporting”.

    I think we should start doing a population swap with some state worth getting rid of.

    South Carolina (Too small for a country, too large for an asylum)? Alabama and Mississippi (on the principle that there are too many crazy people to fit in one state)?

    Let’s start evacuating the sane people from there, and start sending the lunatics (starting with the state legislatures) down.

    At this point, I think we need to seriously reconsider the FEMA camp idea; these idiots have gone from being nucking futz to being dangerous to others (kids under 14, specifically). And we need to do some serious mental health professional training; there’s no where near enough currently trained to deal with this shit.

  17. 17
    Punchy says:

    Do kids in grades 8 or lower typically identify as gay/lesbian? Seems pretty young for a kid to even figure any of that out….

  18. 18
    greennotGreen says:

    On a serious note, what is it with the conservative brain? How can these people be so bereft of empathy and common human decency? Is it a problem in the way they were raised? Is it inborn, and if so, is it genetic or a random mutation or some sort of prenatal malnutrition? ‘Cause something is majorly wrong with the way their minds work.

  19. 19
    LanceThruster says:

    The only thing that makes me feel good about this is a have an ex-GF originally from TN and she was always so smug about her state of origin and her new locale in my state (SF).

    She acted as if TN was where decency reigned supreme and that San Francisco residents are better than anyone else, particularly in being eco-friendly as evidenced by their lack smog.

    While it is true that there are many wonderful residents and institutions in TN that are exemplary (some of the journalism coming out of Knoxville is superb), and that Bay Area residents do tend to be more progressive on the environment, she was apparently was unaware of the topographical conditions that meant the San Francisco air pollution migrates to the Grand Canyon. There are always advantages to living “upstream.”

    bitterness rant off/

  20. 20
    Chris says:

    @FlyingToaster:

    At the height of the French culture wars in the late nineteenth century, when modern public education was created, schoolteachers were sent to every last village in France with the very explicit purpose of being the Republic’s countermeasure against the local clergy.

    In the last few years, I’ve increasingly wished the U.S. federal government would do something like that in terms of explicitly declaring war on the Dark Age madness that still pervades the country. Not much chance of it happening, but I can dream.

  21. 21
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Punchy: I’ve read stories wherein the person says they knew they were in the wrong body as young as 5 or 6. They always wanted to dress or play with the toys they were told were the other gender. They usually figured out they needed to keep that feeling secret.

  22. 22
    celticdragonchick says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    I’ve read stories wherein the person says they knew they were in the wrong body as young as 5 or 6. They always wanted to dress or play with the toys they were told were the other gender. They usually figured out they needed to keep that feeling secret.

    That was my childhood. I knew I was supposed to be a girl by the time I was 5, and I learned real quick to keep my mouth shut.

  23. 23
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Punchy: One of the boys in my daughter’s pre-k class likes to wear a dress on costume days. My daughter told me he wants to be a princess when he grows up.

    I’m pretty sure that Tennessee would insist that he be reported.

  24. 24
    Hob says:

    @Punchy: Don’t know what you mean by “typically”, but if you don’t think a 13-year-old kid has noticed whether hormone alarms are being set off by boys or girls, you had a very different puberty than I did.

  25. 25
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I have honestly tried to understand why anyone would care about the nature of the romantic/sexual attractions experienced by somebody else, and keep coming up empty.

    Likewise, I’ve tried to understand how my wonderful, nearly four-decade long marriage is in any way threatened by a marriage of two people I don’t know, and come up equally empty.

  26. 26
    Alison says:

    @Punchy: Plenty LGBT people knew it way younger than 8th grade/13 years old. In fact, most trans* folks I’ve known or read about knew it even before they were school-aged. There’s this idea that sexuality and gender identity doesn’t even exist until a person hits puberty, which is basically BS.

  27. 27
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    I was trying to be hyperbo…did he seriously…I can’t even…

    …fucking hell.

  28. 28
    Alison says:

    And I would really like to know, if the school sends that horrible letter home and a child ends up committing suicide over being outed…can the school be sued for wrongful death? Because seriously. That is fucked up and odious and could be really fucking dangerous depending on the child’s family/home life.

    These people are horrible.

  29. 29
  30. 30
    gelfling545 says:

    @Punchy: No doubt for sins committed in a past life I spent most of my teaching career with grades 5-8. Yes, they know that what they are feeling is different from what they are told they should be feeling quite young. Sometimes they are a bit unsure of what it all means but they know, more often they try to conform but they know. As my favorite nephew says “When did you first realize that you were heterosexual?”

  31. 31
    PaulW says:

    @Punchy:

    When you get into 3rd – 4th grade you start figuring out relationships exist for a reason (what that is we don’t learn until we’re old enough to drive cars, and then the reason – bumming a ride off a girlfriend – becomes clear). There’s a period of prepubescence where you start figuring out what kind of girls (or guys) you like to look at (in my case, it was shoulder-length brunette hair, nice smile, and post-training-bra boobies).

  32. 32
    Chris says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    “Ick.”

    Seriously, I’m pretty sure that’s the explanation. You think of the notion of two people of the same gender getting together. A lot of the straight population instinctively goes “ick.” And a large number of these people are disturbed enough that they want to ban that icky thing or at least not give it society’s blessing. Toss in the usual way the 27%ers salivate at the thought of causing pain to any vulnerable minority, and you’ve got the explanation for the obsession with homosexuality.

    And no, I don’t think “a firm and devout belief that this is morally wrong because my religion believes so” has anything to do with it. You don’t see any equivalent movement to outlaw divorce or heterosexual cheating. Homophobia caught on as a political force because so much of the public was used to thinking it’s gross, and that’s pretty much it. IMHO.

  33. 33
    Chris says:

    @PaulW:

    There’s a period of prepubescence where you start figuring out what kind of girls (or guys) you like to look at (in my case, it was shoulder-length brunette hair, nice smile, and post-training-bra boobies).

    In my case, it was hot ones.

  34. 34
    aimai says:

    @Punchy:

    Some do, some don’t–but what is at issue here is that the legislature is trying to turn teachers and guidance counselors into some kind of mandated reporter of any kind of “deviance” or failure to comply with heteronormative rules of dress, speech, or behavior. Its a fine line that lies between a girl wanting to wear pants in school and being reported for being butch. Or a boy having hair just that tiny bit too long, leading to Mitt Romney wanting to hack it off. The extreme conformity that is expected of even little children is pretty chilling when one kid steps out of line and needs to be whacked back so severely.

  35. 35
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Chris:

    In my case, it was “girls who would talk to me.”

    I later developed more restrictive standards.

  36. 36
    danimal says:

    @FlyingToaster: Forget the FEMA camps. Did anyone see the sign-up list for Death Panel volunteers?

    Or since this is Tennessee, Death Panel Volunteers?

  37. 37
    Cassidy says:

    @Chris: I’m going to go with “anyone willing to talk to me” for $100 Alex.

  38. 38
    Chris says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    Well, I was just talking “girls that are nice to look at.” A category that doesn’t necessarily overlap with “girls that I actually have the remotest chance with.”

  39. 39
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: I later developed more restrictive standards. me too. much much later.

  40. 40
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Rule 34. It’s not just about pr0n. It’s about all sorts of weird shit that the wingtard nutbags have in their marginally sapient heads.

  41. 41
    Citizen Alan says:

    Haven’t seen it mentioned yet, but this bill was apparently put forth by Stacey Campfield, the same jackass one of the front pagers was talking about just the other day for his scheme to kick poor people off TANF because the kids aren’t doing well enough in school.

  42. 42
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chris:

    Well, it might be “ick” but they cannot stop thinking about it. The very idea that this “ick” is going on drives them bananas. They can’t get it out of their heads. (cue ELO here).

  43. 43
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @MikeJ:

    I think midtown Memphis might want to go with you, but I haven’t been there in years.

    I’m in midtown Memphis right now!

  44. 44
    Narcissus says:

    @aimai:

    Or a boy having hair just that tiny bit too long, leading to Mitt Romney wanting to hack it off have sex with him and thus causing him to hysterically attack the poor kid

  45. 45
    LanceThruster says:

    @greennotGreen:

    Answer here.

  46. 46
    kdaug says:

    @Chris: I think you’re right, and I think it’s nearly analogous to imagining your parents having sex.

    It’s an odd, off-putting thought to some people.

    I think a negative reaction reflects a lack of emotional/psychological maturity, and helps explain why logical or empathetic arguments against it are usually futile.

  47. 47
    LanceThruster says:

    @kdaug:

    Yes “icky” = “bad” though I’m sure there’s other aspects of human sexuality that would also strike them that way if they thought much about it (they just better damn well back off of it though lest they go after something I’m into!).

  48. 48
    kdaug says:

    @LanceThruster: And you know what, the thought of some fat fucking preacher having sex with his painted-plastic wife fills me with a “icky”, too.

    I just don’t try to legislate around it.

  49. 49
    greennotGreen says:

    @LanceThruster: Yes, but

    However as they were all adults it was hard to say whether their brains had been born that way or had developed through experience.

    So, is it neuroplasticity or is it anatomy? If it’s the former, we might be able to do something about it. My money’s on neuroplasticity and child-rearing practices, but, unlike a conservative, I will bow to evidence.

  50. 50
    Mnemosyne says:

    @greennotGreen:

    As with so many things, the answer seems to be “both.” As in, there is an innate tendency towards disliking change in the personality that gets reinforced with child-rearing.

    I remember reading one time that babies are born with one of three basic personalities: “easy” babies who take things as they come, “slow to warm up” babies that will accept new things with encouragement from the caregiver, and “fearful” babies who find it very difficult to cope with new things. I think you can guess which group of babies I suspect are the ones who grow up to be conservatives.

  51. 51
    Roger Moore says:

    @kdaug:

    I just don’t try to legislate around it.

    This being the key thing. If I think your style of sex is icky, that’s my problem, not yours (with obvious limitation of “consenting adults”).

  52. 52
    Joel says:

    It Couldn’t Happen Here…

  53. 53
    greennotGreen says:

    @Mnemosyne: Adjusting child-rearing practices for the three baby types still might minimize what I’d characterize as long-term damage to the “fearful” babies.

    Here’s an anecdote that bends me in the direction of nurture: both of my parents were raised in families that had a source of insecurity – poverty and infidelity in one, and alcoholism in the other. My sister and I, however, grew up in middle-class suburbia in a stable family. We’re both very liberal although our parents were very conservative. I know: anecdote, singular of “data.” If I were still in the social sciences, it would make an excellent research project.

  54. 54
    Suffern ACE says:

    So I’m taking it that it died in committee the last time was because it was too modest, so the more robust version will pass quickly now?

  55. 55
    RaflW says:

    @greennotGreen: On a serious note, what is it with the conservative brain? How can these people be so bereft of empathy and common human decency?

    A couple of thoughts: One, I think there has been some research that in fact conservatives place empathy lower and have a higher sense of disgust (WSJ via Volokh)
    Two (and related to this study), conservatives pretty naturally hate change. And they’re seeing a country changing stunningly quickly on LGBT issues.

    Heck, the “morally straight” Boy Scouts are seriously looking at being gay-OK (well, with local hate option). That’s shocking to a whole lot of folks, and the South seems to be the epicenter of change-resistance.

  56. 56
    Wally Ballou says:

    “A visceral recoil from homosexuality is the natural reaction of a healthy society wishing to preserve itself.” – Pat Buchanan

    Icky! Icky! Icky!

  57. 57
    Jay says:

    “inform the parents of some students who identify themselves as LGBT.”

    Did everyone catch the use of the legislator’s favorite weasel word, “some” in there?

    What’s with that?

  58. 58
    Bago says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: In my case, it was girls who broke into my house, played street fighter with, and slept with me after rocky horror.

    Yeah, I moved to the big city after growing up in a Christian cult, so things were unique.

    In all reality, a lot of the low end of the cultural right is about being rewarded for compliance. Go to church every Sunday, tithe, say your Hail Mary’s, go to war, all without question. It’s why they hate academics, who stop and ask, “How exactly did that fellow fit millions of species onto 400 feet of boat?”.

  59. 59
    Don K says:

    @Punchy:

    I definitely had it figured out that I liked naughty bits that are outies by the time I was 14. And I don’t think I was all that advanced.

  60. 60
    Ken says:

    What disturbs me most is the implication that they’re OK with teachers discussing heterosexual sex with kindergarteners. (Wasn’t that a South Park episode?)

  61. 61
    HinTN says:

    It’s really about tattling and gossip. That and a prim understanding of the world as they narrowly construe it, with a level of astonishment at “other” which can range from amused (“Bless their hearts” they ….. ) to teeth grinding anger. Our blessed legislature is akin to a bag of hammers with radio reception from the worst impulses of the populi.

  62. 62
    Rasputin's Evil Twin says:

    @Wally Ballou: It’s Pitchfork Pat that fills ME with revulsion. Until I saw him, I thought the Know-Nothing movement had died by 1860. Silly me.

    Wonderful thing about the comments on this site – the level of discourse (and grammar) is vastly superior to what I’ve seen on teabagger rant pages. Keep it up, everyone

  63. 63
    mandarama says:

    @greennotGreen:

    Just like Austin wanted to secede from Texas, can Nashville secede from Tennessee?

    I wish. I’m smack in the middle of Davidson Co. The sad thing is, I’m originally from MS, and once I moved here I was so happy at how much more progressive my new home was. Standards were mighty low. And yet, TN has managed to limbo right under that bar.

    Maybe the crazies are really just following me. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.

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