Imagine, if you will, that you are a 15 year old high school student Like many of your peers, you have all the usual problems of adolescence, although you have something extra stressing you out. You see, you happen to be a homosexual 15 year old high school student. In some situations, you could come out and be yourself with the support of your friends and family, but this is not one of those situations. Your parents, while loving, are also very Christian; not the accepting, love no matter what type of Christian, but the abomination in the face of G-D, homosexuals will burn in a lake of fire type. You live in a small southern town with conservative values, and your peers do not strike you as ones who would accept you no matter what. You already deal with some shit from some of your more obnoxious classmates; it’s like they can sense something is different about you, something is odd, but they can’t quite put their fingers on it. No matter, they pick on you anyway. You hear how fellow students talk in the halls about “faggots” and “cocksuckers.” You don’t want to know how they’d talk about you if they knew.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however. Once you turn 18 and hold that diploma in your hand, you are free; free to escape to a University filled not only with other homosexuals, but with people who don’t give a shit if you are homosexual, or if college is not for you, free to at least escape to a diverse city where you can be accepted for who you are.
The fine GOP legislators in Tennessee want to make the trying time before your escape better for you. They care for you, and are prepared to help.
By forcing you into counseling and telling your parents that you are gay. That would help, right?
*sigh* From the Salon:
If you thought that you’d heard the last of Tennessee’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill after state lawmakers abandoned the legislation last year, think again.
It’s back. And it’s awful.
The measure still prohibits elementary and middle school teachers from discussing sexual activity that is not related to “natural human reproduction” or even acknowledging that homosexuality exists, but new language in the bill would require teachers to tell parents when students are — or might be — gay:
The general assembly recognizes that certain subjects are particularly sensitive and are, therefore, best explained and discussed within the home. Because of its complex societal, scientific, psychological, and historical implications, human sexuality is one such subject. Human sexuality is best understood by children with sufficient maturity to grasp its complexity and implications…
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 addition to requiring school officials to out students to their parents, the legislation also appears to endorse so-called conversion therapy (“counseling” in the bill’s nomenclature), in which psychologists and psychiatrists (not to mention would-be Republican presidential nominees) try to change the recipients sexual orientation.
Did I sigh in disgust yet? I did? I got nothing else.