Tenn. Crackpot Lawmaker Succeeds With ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill
April 22, 2011
(ChattahBox Political News)—With Republicans controlling both chambers of the Tennessee state legislature and the governor’s office, backbencher kooky right-wing lawmakers, like state Sen. Stacey Campfield (R) are having a field day. Known for once having tried to join the Black Legislative Caucus and attacking the group as the KKK when they rejected him, Campfield, a 42-year old never-married, rabidly anti-gay family values conservative, has finally succeeded in getting one of his extreme stunt bills out of committee. The bill dubbed, the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, would ban teachers from teaching, discussing, or even responding to a question about homosexuality in kindergarten through grade eight classrooms. Although homosexuality is not currently part of the curriculum, Campfield believes his bill is needed to completely wipe out the gay, so teachers can concentrate on “arithmetic.”
Campfield, a birther, who signed on to one of Orly Taitz’s crazy birther lawsuits, has been kicking around Tennessee politics for the past six-years, developing a reputation as an in-your-face far right-wing crank, with an extra side of weird.
During his state senatorial campaign, Campfield was famously thrown out of a UT football game for donning a “Luchador’s (Mexican wrestler’s) full head mask,” in violation of a Halloween ban on masks. After scaring a child and exhibiting “odd behavior,” the police escorted Campfield out.
That incident is pretty weird, but weirder still, is his bizarre history of sponsoring numerous wingnut stunt bills covering the three Gs, God, gays and guns, including a vile bill to issue death certificates for aborted fetuses. And a slew of misogynistic so-called “fathers’ rights” bills that make it harder for women to obtain orders of protection from abusive partners, prove sexual abuse of children and obtain child support.
The Nashville Scene’s Pith in the Wind blog, described Campfield’s numerous fathers’ rights bills, as women “are crazy lying bitches men need protecting from…” bills.
Campfield’s stunt bills never make it anywhere. He’s been trying to get his ban the gay talk bill passed for six-years. But with the GOP inmates currently running the Tennessee legislative asylum, his “Don’t Say Gay” bill may be the exception.
Think Progress’ the Wonk Room reports:
“A bill popularly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill advanced yesterday out of the Tennessee Senate Education Committee. The bill would prohibit teachers from discussing of any sexuality except heterosexuality in grades K-8,” even with students who may be gay or have gay family,” according to Ben Byers of the Tennessee Equality Council (TEP). The committee amended the bill to require the Board of Education to study whether homosexuality is actually being taught in schools, but it will still institute a ban in February of next year.”
Campfield believes that his bill would get the word out that there is a difference between tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality.
“If I can take one thing away and say, hey, you don’t have to teach about homosexuality to your second-graders, you can spend more time on arithmetic,” said Campfield.
As if his “Don’t Say Gay” bill isn’t strange enough, as always with Campfield, comes an extra dose of weird. He’s being accused of improperly demanding a $1,000 “retainer” from Hollywood producer and gay-rights activist Del Shores, in exchange for traveling to Texas to debate his bill with Shores.
‘”I’m not going to pay air fare to Texas and a hotel, then have the guy stiff me,” he said, adding the retainer request came when he understood the debate would be in Texas.”
Weird, bigoted, a right-wing crank, a misogynist and a homophobe. That’s quite a combination, even for a Republican state lawmaker in Tennessee.