As most news outlets have reported Tennessee Senate Bill SB0049, which would make it unlawful for a public elementary or middle to “instruct or provide materials referencing any sexuality other than heterosexuality” has passed its Senate committee vote along party lines and makes its way to the full state Senate for debate and floor vote. While I cannot even guess how the Senate will vote on this bill (I didn’t even think it would make it out of committee), it can still be stopped in the house.
The House version of the bill is HB0229. Assigned to the General Sub-committee of Education, a committee made up of 8 Republicans and 5 Democrats, it would have to pass a vote in this subcommittee and pass a vote in its parent the Education Committee before going to a floor debate and vote. Stopping it in the House subcommittee is kind of a longshot with so many hard core Republicans. In this political climate it should also never be counted on to have the Democrats vote against this bill without confirmation.
Here’s the list of representatives to concentrate on:
- Rep. Joe Pitts, D-Clarksville
- Speaker Emeritus James O. “Jimmy” Naifeh, D-Covington
- Rep. Richard Montgomery, R-Sevierville
- Rep. Debra Young Maggart, R-Hendersonville
- Rep. Ron Lollar, R-Bartlett
- Rep. Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley
- Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville
- Rep. Lois DeBerry, D-Memphis
- Rep. John J. DeBerry JR., D-Memphis
- Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland
- Rep. Harry Brooks. R-Knoxville
- Rep. Joe Carr. R-Lascassas
- Rep. Joey Hensley. R-Hohenwald
From this list I can tell you that Maggart, a vile, evil spirited homophobe, will definitely vote for this bill. Also, Dunn, the bill’s sponsor will vote for this bill. It is interesting to note, that in prior visits to Dunn’s office during Advancing Equality Day, when Campfield was still a House Representative, Dunn had nothing but but animus for Campfield and thought all of his bills, including this one, were wacky. It funny how things change.