Always Inexplicably Striving

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Memo to Tennessee: GODDAMN, DUDES.

I know I've declared Tennessee the dumbest state in the Union many a time, and I wasn't kidding. It really is. But they continue to shock me with their constant striving not to just maintain that position, but actually increase their lead over other states that fervently wish they could be as retrograde as the Volunteer (For A Lobotomy) State.

I'm not actually sure if I've mentioned this here before, but for the last year or two, Tennessee legislators have been trying to pass laws that have been nicknamed "Don't Say Gay" bills, because it would prevent teachers from discussing any sexuality other than God's Own Straight Penis-Vagina Sex prior to grade 9.

To be fair, this legislative philosophy, known in the time of our Founding Fathers as "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU LA LA LA", has encompassed much of Tennessee history, including such pesky things as evolution and civil rights, so it's not super-shocking that they'd apply it to homosexuality, too. And while the bill died last year without becoming law, it's back this year. And in what I will misleadingly refer to as an improvement in a comedic attempt at a segue, it includes an exception for when teachers can talk about teh ghey. ACTUAL BILL TIME!

"A school counselor, nurse, principal or assistant principal from counseling a student who is engaging in, or who may be at risk of engaging in, behavior injurious to the physical or mental health and well-being of the student or another person; provided, that wherever possible such counseling shall be done in consultation with the student’s parents or legal guardians. Parents or legal guardians of students who receive such counseling shall be notified as soon as practicable that such counseling has occurred"

In other words, if a gay student comes out to school officials, school officials have to tell the parents. The Tennessee parents. Who live in Tennessee. Where they elect state senators like Stacey Campfield, who is a man named Stacey and who introduced the legislation and who says stuff like this:

"I can’t speak from personal experience, but being homosexual in and of itself is not deadly or dangerous. The act of homosexuality is very dangerous."

Stacey Campfield, being from Tennessee, has it completely backwards. The act of homosexuality is not very dangerous. But being homosexual in Tennessee? Let's ask Elton, who almost died because his guardian believed Elton was gay.

Elton is a dog. His owner, inexplicably unnamed in three different news stories, turned him in to a high-kill shelter and asked that he be euthanized because this owner caught him dry-humping another male dog. FUCKING TENNESSEE.

Luckily, the case was publicized and Elton was adopted the morning before he was going to be put down. Unfortunately, the dose intended for Elton was not given to the owner. And even more unfortunately, if this bill passes, Tennessee educators will be required to inform parents if their kid is gay, even if the parents are so virulently opposed to homosexuality they'd murder their own dog for rubbing up on another male dog.

I'd suggest Tennessee rethink this proposal, but the word "rethink" carries certain implicit assumptions I know damn well aren't true.