The Tennessee state Senate on Friday approved a controversial bill aimed at prohibiting teachers from discussing homosexuality in kindergarten through 8th grade classrooms.
The bill, amended to limit its scope, restricts the teaching of sexuality issues to natural human reproduction only.
Senators voted 20-10 Friday morning to pass Senate Bill 49, known by opponents as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, after accepting a new amendment that says the measure would only ban discussion in prepared materials and instruction.
Democrats opposed to the measure argued it would muddy state laws that already restrict sex education in middle and elementary school.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville), said the bill is necessary because homosexuality is a “learned behavior.”
No action has been taken on the House version of the bill since Feb. 9, when it was assigned to a subcommittee.
Rep. Bill Dunn, the bill’s sponsor in the House, said he would not pursue passage this year.