Tennessee lawmaker seeks to ban teaching 'LGBTQ issues' in schools

"Why should we allow another social belief system to be promoted in the classroom and put the Bible and Christian principles at a disadvantage?" the bill's sponsor noted.

Updated: February 9, 2022 - 7:07pm

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Tennessee state lawmakers are considering a bill that would prohibit the teaching of LGBT issues in public schools, but critics say the bill harms children.

If the bill passes, public schools will be prohibited from using "textbooks and instructional materials or supplemental instructional materials that promote, normalize, support, or address lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) issues or lifestyles."

The bill was revived last week after being put on pause due to the COVID pandemic.

"Why should we allow another social belief system to be promoted in the classroom and put the Bible and Christian principles at a disadvantage?" the bill's sponsor, Tennessee State Rep. Bruce Griffey (R-Paris), asked ABC 9

"The State of Tennessee is not allowed to teach my daughters Christian values that I think are important and they should learn, so I teach those at home," Griffey told Fox 19. "So, if those are not part of the school curriculum, I don’t see how LGBTQ and other issues and social lifestyles should be part of the curriculum."

The bill seeks to "say we're not going to get into the LGBTQ lifestyle issues in public schools," Griffey told the outlet.

Tennessee parent Jude Olubodon, whose child identifies as transgender, slammed the bill. "You're contributing to our children's fear, you're contributing to our children's deaths," Olubodon told ABC 9, adding "You are continuing our deaths and robbing us of our very essence."

Other bills focusing on the LGBT community have been proposed across the country. 

Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fl.) voiced his support Monday for a bill that would require schools to notify parents of changes in a child's mental, emotional and physical health, named the "Don't Say Gay" bill by critics.

"I want every member of the LGBTQI+ community — especially the kids who will be impacted by this hateful bill — to know that you are loved and accepted just as you are," President Joe Biden attacked the Florida bill on Twitter. "I have your back, and my Administration will continue to fight for the protections and safety you deserve."