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The Utter Wackiness of Tennessee Republican Lawmaker Stacey Campfield


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#1 Wetcoaster

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:00 PM

The Republican Party is wondering what it needs to do to rehabilitate its image with the majority of the voting public and reach out to minorities and the famous Romney 47% of entitled slackers.

Perhaps disassociating itself from wack-a-doodles like Stacey Campfield would be a good start.

Campfield is currently as state senator in the great state of Tennessee who originally hailed from Binghamton, New York until moving south at age 25.

He currently serves as the Republican member of the Tennessee Senate from the 7th district, encompassing Knoxville, Farragut, and other parts of Knox County.
http://www.capitol.t...members/s7.html

He was first elected in 2004 to the Tennessee House of Representatives and it did not take him long to make his mark - if being a yet another Republican wack-a-doodle is an enviable mark.

He initially came to public attention when In 2005 he said he was interested in joining the legislative Black Caucus but is seems he was missing one of the key attributes for membership. Perhaps the legislative Ginger Caucus (Caucasian Branch) would not have him???

Posted Image

He was offered an honorary membership but demanded a full membership claiming that the group's bylaws were racist because he said they restrict membership based on race, which described as being more restrictive than the Ku Klux Klan's bylaws. (My note - not a lot of blacks joining the KKK to my knowledge)

The freshman Republican from Knoxville was rebuffed earlier this year when he asked for the Black Caucus’ bylaws and inquired about joining. There are 18 black state lawmakers in Tennessee.


Caucus chairman Rep. Johnny Shaw, a Democrat, dismissed Campfield’s request and called him a “strange guy” who was simply interested in stirring up trouble.


“He is using this as a joke. This is an insult coming from him,” said caucus member Rep. Larry Miller, also a Democrat. “Why he chose to focus on the Black Caucus, I have no idea other than he is crazy and a racist.”


http://www.msnbc.msn...8/#.UQQynh3AcrU

His next brilliant idea for legislation? In 2007 he sponsored a bill to issue death certificates for aborted fetuses. At the time Tennessee law required abortions to be reported to the Office of Vital Records but concealed the identity of the woman.

A state representative introduced legislation that would require death certificates for aborted fetuses, which would be likely to create public records identifying women who have abortions. The representative, Stacey Campfield, a Republican, predicted the bill would pass in the Republican-controlled Senate but would face difficulties in the Democratic-controlled House. “At least we would see how many lives are being ended out there by abortions,” Mr. Campfield said. The number of abortions reported to the state Office of Vital Records is already publicly available. Representative Rob Briley, a Democrat and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, called Mr. Campfield’s proposal “the most preposterous bill I’ve seen” in an eight-year legislative career.

http://www.nytimes.c...I_BRF.html?_r=0

And why death certificates for aborted fetuses? Campfield said this:

"The life issue is very important, it's always been very important to me. And we've really hit a stone wall as as any sort of (ant-abortion) legislation moving."

http://news.google.c...campfield&hl=en

And of course another issue near and dear to his heart (and other Repubican wack-a-doodles pandering to the NRA) - the right to bear arms.

In 2008, Campfield sponsored a bill requiring public colleges in Tennessee to allow their full-time employees with state-issued handgun-carry permits to carry their handguns on campus. The first draft of the bill included K-12 teachers carrying handguns . The Tennessee Board of Regent opposed the bill, saying that only campus security police at universities should possess weapons on their campuses, and that local police are the best way to protect community college campuses.
http://www.timesfree...-sparks-debate/

However showing dogged determination Campfield has now introduced yet another bill in this legislative session allowing certain persons employed by a local education agency as a faculty or staff member at a K-12 school to possess and carry a firearm.
http://wapp.capitol....r=SB0077&ga=108

Up next... Homosexuality. Campfield proposed a bill to ban teachers from teaching about homosexuality in Tennessee's public elementary and middle schools in 2008 saying that the topic should only be discussed by each student's family. The bill died in committee.
http://www.upi.com/T...91101203558098/

In 2102 he was behind a bill known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill -- which would have banned discussion in schools of "sexual orientation other than heterosexuality". In a radio interview pushing the he lashed out at arguments against his bill by comparing homosexuality to bestiality and making what public health officials would characterize as recklessly false assertions about AIDS. And bullying of gay teens? Just a myth (or as he called it "a lark). And if you talk about being gay well that could just push some kid over the edge:

"I just think there are situations where some kids maybe sexually unsecure [sic] in themselves or sexually confused and don't necessarily know clearly what direction they are. If someone, a person of influence, says maybe you're gay, maybe you should explore those things -- maybe the child, who is young and impressionable, says maybe I am gay."


"[Homosexuals] do not naturally reproduce. It has not been proven that it is nature. It happens in nature, but so does beastiality That does not make it right or something we should be teaching in school."

...


"Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community -- it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall."

"My understanding is that it is virtually -- not completely, but virtually -- impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex...very rarely [transmitted]."

"What's the average lifespan of a homosexual? it's very short. Google it yourself."


http://www.huffingto..._n_1233697.html

That bill also also failed.

Not meeting much success Campfield then shifted his sights and targeted... WAIT FOR IT... Illegal Immigration. In 2008, Campfield proposed a bill to prohibit Tennessee public colleges from admitting illegal immigrants.

Rep. Stacey Campfield proposed a state law this year that would prohibit state schools from admitting illegal immigrants. It stands in stark contrast to a federal law, which seeks to let illegal immigrants enter public colleges and universities with the possibility of instate tuition.

http://tnjn.com/2008...oposes-bill-to/

Okay the Neo Con Christian fundamentalist standard check list, eh?

Posted ImageAnti- abortion
Posted ImageGun rights
Posted ImageHomosexuality
Posted Image Illegal immigrants

And what other issue is foremost on the minds of Campfield and his ilk - why those free loading welfare recipients and other government fund recipients. You know the ones Romney identified always with their hands out. Please sir, may I have more???

What is another big issue also... the War on Drugs, right?

So combining the two Campfield pushed for drug testing of all Tennesseans seeking taxpayer-funded benefits - three bills calling for drug testing in the 2012 legislative session: one dealing with persons on welfare, one for those drawing unemployment compensation and one for those receiving workers' compensation benefits. He stated the applicant would be required to cover the cost of testing without state reimbursement. He estimated the costs could be kept to "only $4 or $5" by limiting the tests to "hardcore illegal drugs," such as cocaine, heroin and marijuana. He said the law will deter persons taking illegal drugs from applying for benefits, resulting in taxpayer savings, while having the applicant pay for the tests will eliminate state costs.
http://www.knoxnews....ing-for-funded/

These bills also did not pass.

His latest project. If your child is not doing well at school and you are on welfare, then cut back your benefits.

Tennessee state Rep. Stacey Campfield ® introduced a bill this week seeking to make welfare benefits contingent upon the grades of a would-be recipient's children.


Campfield's legislation, filed Thursday, would "require the reduction of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) payments for parents or caretakers of TANF recipients whose children fail to maintain satisfactory progress in school." TANF is more commonly referred to as welfare.


Under Campfield's bill, welfare recipients would face a loss of benefits if their children showed poor academic performance. It's unclear how these factors would be tied to one another, or how the children's performance would be assessed.


In a blog addressing his proposal, Campfield calls his bill a measure to "break the cycle of poverty." According to Campfield, education is a "three legged stool" comprised of schools, teachers and parents. He claims the state has adequately held the first two legs of the school accountable, but argues that it should apply more pressure on the third.


"The third leg of the stool (probably the most important leg) is the parents," Campfield writes. "We have done little to hold them accountable for their child's performance. What my bill would do is put some responsibility on parents for their child's performance."


http://www.huffingto..._n_2552781.html

For the life of me I cannot fathom why Americans are not jumping on the Campfield Express.
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#2 Buggernut

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:08 PM

He initially came to public attention when In 2005 he said he was interested in joining the legislative Black Caucus but is seems he was missing one of the key attributes for membership. Perhaps the legislative Ginger Caucus (Caucasian Branch) would not have him???


Sounds to me like that was exactly the point of his stunt--to draw attention to the fact that there is no "White Caucus", and if anyone attempted to start one, they would be run out of town.

Edited by Buggernut, 26 January 2013 - 02:15 PM.

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#3 Where's Wellwood

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:24 PM

"Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community -- it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall."

"My understanding is that it is virtually -- not completely, but virtually -- impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex...very rarely [transmitted]."

"What's the average lifespan of a homosexual? it's very short. Google it yourself."

That first bit sounds like something that would be debunked on snopes.

His understanding on the second bit about AIDS not being transferred through heterosexual sex is so face-palmingly wrong.

As for the third bit, maybe he should Google it.

Retard.
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#4 Wetcoaster

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:25 PM

Sounds to me like that was exactly the point of his stunt--to draw attention to the fact that there is no "White Caucus", and if anyone attempted to start one, they would be run out of town.

It sounds nothing like that to me. Just your garden variety wack job racist.


The 37-year-old Campfield defended himself Saturday in a message on his Web journal, or blog, under the heading “I too dream.”


The long excerpts from the Rev. Martin Luther King’s famous 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech infuriated some readers. It prompted Campfield to ban reader comments after some of the angry postings included death threats.


Experts on race and hate groups said Campfield hit a nerve when he used King’s words to take on a black institution. It’s the same tactic white separatists often use, said Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.


“Very typically these days we see white supremacists, hate groups, trying to use the words of King and other civil rights leaders to try to advance their agendas,” Potok said.


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#5 Wetcoaster

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:27 PM

That first bit sounds like something that would be debunked on snopes.

His understanding on the second bit about AIDS not being transferred through heterosexual sex is so face-palmingly wrong.

As for the third bit, maybe he should Google it.

Retard.

The link debunked his claims:


According the esteemed Canadian infectious disease specialist Jacques Pepin, in his groundbreaking book The Origin of AIDS, DNA evidence now available has shown that the first known case of simian-to-human transmission of HIV occurred in Africa in the 1930s when a hunter killed and chopped up a monkey for food. The monkey’s blood infected an open cut. (There is no evidence of monkey to human sexual transmission). HIV then was transmitted among humans for decades in Africa largely via unprotected heterosexual vaginal sex, which, contrary to Campfield's claims, the CDC and all public health experts warn is a high risk activity. Today, around the globe, the majority of people with HIV are heterosexual and are infected via heterosexual sex.


The "short lifespan" meme about gay men comes from the claim of far-right, discredited researcher Paul Cameron, which was debunked back in the 1990s. Most recently North Carolina Senator James Forrester made the same claims -- that gay men die younger -- in an interview on my radio program in defending the antigay marriage amendment he put on the ballot. (He died a few weeks after the interview.)


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#6 Buggernut

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:30 PM

It sounds nothing like that to me. Just your garden variety wack job racist.


The 37-year-old Campfield defended himself Saturday in a message on his Web journal, or blog, under the heading “I too dream.”


The long excerpts from the Rev. Martin Luther King’s famous 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech infuriated some readers. It prompted Campfield to ban reader comments after some of the angry postings included death threats.


Experts on race and hate groups said Campfield hit a nerve when he used King’s words to take on a black institution. It’s the same tactic white separatists often use, said Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.


“Very typically these days we see white supremacists, hate groups, trying to use the words of King and other civil rights leaders to try to advance their agendas,” Potok said.


Or to draw irony to their own racially selective practices.
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#7 Wetcoaster

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:31 PM

Or to draw irony to their own racially selective practices.

I disagree.
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#8 Buggernut

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:37 PM

I disagree.


Admission into the Black Caucus is based on colour of their skin and not so much on content of their character, no?

Would even Rev. MLK approve?
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#9 jmfaminoff

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:41 PM

Anything written by the Huffington Post criticising Republicans is the equivalent of reading The Onion for real news stories.
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#10 Wetcoaster

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:44 PM

Admission into the Black Caucus is based on colour of their skin and not so much on content of their character, no?

Would even Rev. MLK approve?

Of course.
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#11 Wetcoaster

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:46 PM

Anything written by the Huffington Post criticising Republicans is the equivalent of reading The Onion for real news stories.

There are numerous sources cited, not just The Huffington Post.

And Campfield's own words stand alone.
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#12 elvis15

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:52 PM

That first bit sounds like something that would be debunked on snopes.

His understanding on the second bit about AIDS not being transferred through heterosexual sex is so face-palmingly wrong.

As for the third bit, maybe he should Google it.

Retard.

I would be offended as a person who is mentally challenged to be compared to this guy.
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#13 Mr. Ambien

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:59 PM

He has a point about the CBC being racist (there's no need to segregate Congressional caucuses based on race) for not admitting him, but his weirdness on giving a fetus a death certificate and stupidity against homosexuality is quite evident. I wonder if he'd keep espousing this crap if funding from religious nut groups ceased.
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#14 Wetcoaster

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:55 PM

He has a point about the CBC being racist (there's no need to segregate Congressional caucuses based on race) for not admitting him, but his weirdness on giving a fetus a death certificate and stupidity against homosexuality is quite evident. I wonder if he'd keep espousing this crap if funding from religious nut groups ceased.

There is a federal Congressional Black Caucus that began back in 1971 and although it does not formally restrict membership by race that is understood..
http://thecongressio...lackcaucus.com/

When white congressman Representative Steve Cohen, D-TN sought membership he was denied.

"Mr. Cohen asked for admission, and he got his answer. He's white and the caucus is black. It's time to move on. We have racial policies to pursue and we are pursuing them, as Mr. Cohen has learned. It's an unwritten rule. It's understood."

"Quite simply, Rep. Cohen will have to accept what the rest of the country will have to accept—there has been an unofficial Congressional White Caucus for over 200 years, and now it's our turn to say who can join 'the club.' He does not, and cannot, meet the membership criteria, unless he can change his skin color. Primarily, we are concerned with the needs and concerns of the black population, and we will not allow white America to infringe on those objectives."
~ Rep. William Lacy Clay, Jr., D-MO., the son of Rep. William Lacy Clay Sr., D-MO., a co-founder of the caucus.

And Cohen did understand and issued an official statement saying "It's their caucus and they do things their way. You don't force your way in. You need to be invited."

There are also the Democratic Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Republican Congressional Hispanic Conference.
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#15 Wetcoaster

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:53 PM

Just when you thought Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield could not get any more wacky, he outdoes himself.

After his proposed "Don't Say Gay" bill died a merciful death when the 2012 legislative session expired... he's baaaaacccccckkkkkkkkkk with a new "improved" version. And he seems to be pushing hard for the now discredited "gay conversion" therapy that has been outlawed in other ststes such as Claifornia - you know "the beat gay out of them" approach.

In 2011, Tennessee state Sen. Stacey Campfield ® earned the ire of gay-rights supporters by authoring and championing a "don't say gay" bill, forbidding teachers to even mention homosexuality to kids from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The bill passed out of the relevant committees of both the state House and Senate, but expired at the end of the legislative session in 2012. Well, "it's back," says Katie McDonough at Salon ( http://www.salon.com...their_students/ ). "And it's awful," even worse than the previous version. Why? This time, Campfield added new language in the bill that "would require teachers to tell parents when students are — or might be — gay." Here's the relevant section of the bill:


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. At grade levels pre-K through eight (pre-K-8), any such classroom instruction, course materials or other informational resources that are inconsistent with natural human reproduction shall be classified as inappropriate for the intended student audience and, therefore, shall be prohibited....


LEA policies and procedures adopted pursuant to this section shall not prohibit... 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.


What is Campfield thinking? Well first, unlike lawmakers in California, who banned the controversial gay "conversion" therapy for minors, says Salon's McDonough, Campfield is apparently a fan of the practice "('counseling' in the bill's nomenclature), in which psychologists and psychiatrists... try to change the recipient's sexual orientation." Many states require teachers to report "any signs of child being abused, depressed, or suicidal" to parents or higher authorities, says Ilana Glazer at The Daily Beast ( See http://www.thedailyb...y-gay-bill.html ), and Campfield apparently believes that "being gay is so abnormal, it must be reported so that such behavior can be thwarted." Still:


This Tennessee bill, coupled with the recent Boy Scout debate, seems to be part of a disturbing trend. While equality battles up until now have been about LGBT rights for adults, the debate has now shifted to a point where children are becoming collateral damage. [Daily Beast]


Campfield mostly "seems determined that his name will forever more be synonymous with the term 'gay-bashing,'" says Jackson Baker at the Memphis Flyer. (See http://www.memphisfl...dont-say-gay-ii )That, and making a name for himself, period. It's hard to escape the fact that this new "don't say gay" bill actually does let you "say 'gay' if you must, but say it out of the hearing of the Regular Kids and in a way that isolates the suspected or known outliers and makes them squirm. Call it Tough Love. Call it The Cure." Luckily, "we will hazard here the prediction that Campfield's newest philippic against the state of gaydom will ultimately meet the fate of his first effort" — death by inaction.


Let's hope so, says Annie-Rose Strasser at ThinkProgress. (See http://thinkprogress...ssee/?mobile=nc )"Family rejection is a serious risk for LGBT youth," often leading to depression or suicide. And if this legislation does pass, plenty more gay kids will surely "face alienation, if not outright abandonment," and the state will be saddled with an epidemic of marginalized or homeless children.

http://www.salon.com/2013/01/30/tennessee_dont_say_gay_bill_now_requires_teachers_to_out_their_students/
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#16 Bertuzzi Babe

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:56 PM

I wonder if that conversion thing works the other way, too? Perhaps Stacey Campfield would make a good guinea pig for such an experiment?

There was a movie......Watermelon Man......many years ago (not particularly or remotely Oscar-worthy except for the premise)...... that was about a white man who was a horrible racist, he absolutely hated African Americans. One morning he woke up and his skin had turned black and he had to face and endure the racism he had exhibited every day to others. Of course, because it's the land of movies, he changed his ways and became a more tolerant man. Perhaps wearing the shoe that's on the other foot for awhile would help change Homophobe Campfield's outlook on things.

Edited by Bertuzzi Babe, 31 January 2013 - 10:00 PM.

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#17 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:33 AM

I wonder if that conversion thing works the other way, too? Perhaps Stacey Campfield would make a good guinea pig for such an experiment?

There was a movie......Watermelon Man......many years ago (not particularly or remotely Oscar-worthy except for the premise)...... that was about a white man who was a horrible racist, he absolutely hated African Americans. One morning he woke up and his skin had turned black and he had to face and endure the racism he had exhibited every day to others. Of course, because it's the land of movies, he changed his ways and became a more tolerant man. Perhaps wearing the shoe that's on the other foot for awhile would help change Homophobe Campfield's outlook on things.


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#18 nucklehead

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:45 AM

The guys out to lunch. It was a steward, not a pilot.
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#19 Wetcoaster

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:39 PM

In the (Twisted) World According to Campfield the mere mention of homosexuality can be enough to push a young 'un into the vile life of being gay... because it is like a lifestyle choice, eh?

The bill prohibits teachers in grades K-8 from acknowledging the existence of homosexuality hence the bill being dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill. And how does that work? Well homosexuals cannot "naturally reproduce" so the bill provides:

At grade levels pre-K through eight (pre-K-8), any such classroom instruction, course materials or other informational resources that are inconsistent with natural human reproduction shall be classified as inappropriate for the intended student audience and, therefore, shall be prohibited.


It also requires school officials to out gay students to their families as well as engaging in "counselling" the poor diseased student.

The bill does not prohibit school officials from counseling students who are engaging in—or “who may be at risk of engaging in”—activity “inconsistent with natural human reproduction,” but it does require that they notify parents or legal guardians of the counseling. In other words, if students seek advice or counseling about being gay, question being gay, or are treated by peers in a way that indicates they are suspected of being gay, school officials must out them to their parents.

It goes a step further, requiring that school officials notify parents if they notice a student “whose circumstances present immediate and urgent safety issues involving human sexuality.” So if a teacher even suspects a child might be gay, he or she must out the student to parents. How can we be sure that Campfield thinks homosexuality is one of those “immediate and urgent safety issues”? He flat out said it: “The act of homosexuality is very dangerous to someone’s health and safety.”

Chris Sanders of the Tennessee Equality Project says that the provision “seems to force counselors to become tattletales.” Requiring that they inform parents about any counseling related to LGBT issues or questioning will “erode the trust between students and counselors and leave students without any confidential resource in a place where they might be enduring bullying or other issues related to their sexuality, gender, or other factors."

http://www.thedailyb...essee-bill.html

Hence the concept you can "counsel" the gayness out of a student in danger of crossing over to the dark side of homosexuality and treat it as a disease of the mind or mental defect to be cured through conversion therapy. A position that has been rejected by mental health professionals for decades. In 1973, the weight of empirical data led the Board of Directors of the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

And this is in keeping with Campfield's history as noted in a TMZ interview. After explaining the AIDS epidemic in Africa by claiming that sodomy was more common there among heterosexuals, Campfield went on to compare being gay to using heroin:

TMZ: If they’re going to engage in homosexual acts anyway, why not teach them how to protect themselves from [HIV]?

CAMPFIELD: You know, you could say the same thing about kids who are shooting heroin. We need to show them the best ways to shoot up. No, we don’t. Why do we have to hypersexualize little children? Why can’t we just let little kids be little kids for a while? Why do we have to have little kids be…?

TMZ: Do you believe in sex education period?

CAMPFIELD: …If you can show me where it works, great.


Injecting heroin is like being gay???

And how do you prove sex education "works"? Perhaps consider the evidence. Sex education actually works when a comprehensive safe sex curriculum is taught, and fails in states that only teach or stress abstinence. http://thinkprogress...-sex-education/

As TMZ wrote at its website:

Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville) has a message to the gay community -- stop ramming the gay agenda "down everybody's throats" and leave the straight people alone!!!

Sen. Campfield just called in to "TMZ Live" to talk about the strongly-worded email he sent to a pro-gay voter ... who had objected to a bill Campfield recently reintroduced to the Tennessee General Assembly.

During the call, Campfield insists he doesn't hate gay people -- he just doesn't believe students from kindergarten through 8th grade should discuss ANYTHING gay related.

Among the highlights:
-- Campfield says the people in the gay rights community are "the biggest bullies in the world."

-- Campfield says comparing the gay rights movement to the African American civil rights movement is "insulting to the civil rights movement of the black people."

-- Campfield says he wishes the gay community would just leave the straight people alone ... saying, "We don't wanna hear about it every day ... quit trying to ram it down everybody's throats ... and quit pushing it on everyone. Just leave us alone."

Some people in the newsroom disagreed with the State Senator's views ... check out the video.

http://www.tmz.com/2...erous-tmz-live/

Kevin Fallon at the Daily Beast writes - ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Is Back: 5 Things to Know About the Tennessee Bill:


Like an irksome zombie, Tennessee’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which so many opponents had thought was dead, is alive once again—and this time there’s a twist. The infamous measure was first introduced in 2011 and prohibited any instruction or discussion of homosexuality in classrooms from kindergarten through eighth grade. After passing the state Senate but dying in the House, the bill was reintroduced Wednesday with a new provision: teachers would be required to out their gay students to their parents.

Could it pass this time? And who’s pushing this thing, anyway? Here are five things you should know about Tennesee’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

1. Last Time Around, It Died for a Good Reason

The “Don’t Say Gay” bill first cleared a Tennessee Senate panel in April 2011. Officially called S.B. 49, the bill was sponsored by Republican State Sen. Stacey Campfield—who had previously tried unsuccessfully to push the idea as a member of the state House for six years. Prohibiting the discussion of any sexuality except for heterosexuality in kindergarten through eighth grade, “even with students who may be gay or have gay family,” the measure quickly earned its now widespread nickname.

Even so, the bill passed the Senate, ultimately dying an expensive and embarrassing death in the House after two years of debate. “We found out there really is not sex education curriculum in K-8 right now,” GOP Rep. Bill Dunn said at the time, pointing out that sexuality isn’t discussed at all in Tennessee schools until ninth grade, rendering the bill useless.

It took two years to realize this.

But wait, there’s more. Campfield reintroduced the legislation Wednesday with a new caveat: not only would discussing homosexuality be banned, but teachers would have to tell parents when students are—or even just might be—gay.

2. It’s Really Called the Classroom Protection Act

The new, and Campfield thinks improved, measure is S.B. 0234, or the Classroom Protection Act. It begins by stating that “certain subjects are particularly sensitive and are, therefore, best explained and discussed within the home.” The bill states that “human sexuality” is among those subjects.

The key language—and the wording that earns the “Don’t Say Gay” nomenclature—is the reference to “natural human reproduction” in this passage:

At grade levels pre-K through eight (pre-K-8), any such classroom instruction, course materials or other informational resources that are inconsistent with natural human reproduction shall be classified as inappropriate for the intended student audience and, therefore, shall be prohibited.


3. Even If a Kid ‘Might Be Gay,’ Teachers Have to Report It

The bill does not prohibit school officials from counseling students who are engaging in—or “who may be at risk of engaging in”—activity “inconsistent with natural human reproduction,” but it does require that they notify parents or legal guardians of the counseling. In other words, if students seek advice or counseling about being gay, question being gay, or are treated by peers in a way that indicates they are suspected of being gay, school officials must out them to their parents.

It goes a step further, requiring that school officials notify parents if they notice a student “whose circumstances present immediate and urgent safety issues involving human sexuality.” So if a teacher even suspects a child might be gay, he or she must out the student to parents. How can we be sure that Campfield thinks homosexuality is one of those “immediate and urgent safety issues”? He flat out said it: “The act of homosexuality is very dangerous to someone’s health and safety.”

Chris Sanders of the Tennessee Equality Project says that the provision “seems to force counselors to become tattletales.” Requiring that they inform parents about any counseling related to LGBT issues or questioning will “erode the trust between students and counselors and leave students without any confidential resource in a place where they might be enduring bullying or other issues related to their sexuality, gender, or other factors."

4. The Bill’s Sponsor Is Confused About AIDS (MY NOTE - Campfield seems confused about a good many things)

That Campfield construes gayness to be a dangerous act may be rooted in his faulty understanding of HIV and AIDS. “My understanding is that it is virtually—not completely, but virtually—impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex,” he said during a radio interview last year. “Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community—it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, I believe.”

(Renowned scientist Jacques Pepin’s book The Origin of AIDS differs greatly from Campfield’s account.)

True to the wording of his bills, Campfield does find homosexuality unnatural. Homosexuals “do not naturally reproduce,” he says. “It has not been proven that it is nature. It happens in nature, but so does bestiality. That does not make it right or something we should teach in schools.” And he does find homosexuality dangerous: “What’s the average lifespan of a homosexual? It’s very short. Google it.”

In the past, Campfield has proposed bills requiring aborted that fetuses receive death certificates (thus publicly identifying women who have abortions); forcing voters to register for the political party that most closely represents their views; and, recently, cutting welfare to families with children who are performing poorly in school.

5. It Could Actually Pass

According to Campfield, the bill already has a House sponsor, and he says he is optimistic that it will pass. After all, the earlier version did pass the Senate, and only expired because it wasn’t necessary—not because it lost a vote. It actually passed through several House committees before dying, and reintroducing the measure with a sponsor attached increases its chances of approval.

Last year, a bill proposed by Republicans in the Missouri General Assembly also earned a “Don’t Say Gay” label, as it prohibited the teaching of sexual orientation in public schools, but it stirred such controversy and faced such staunch opposition that it was eventually buried. (Though it, too, could find a new life this year. The legislator who introduced it, Steve Cookson, was recently named the new chairman of the Missouri House committee that eventually squashed it.)

With near-instant outrage from liberal-leaning blogs when Campfield’s bill was reintroduced Wednesday, the Tennessee senator can probably expect a similarly strong movement to move the measure off the docket. As ThinkProgress points out, “Family rejection is a serious risk for LGBT youth. Kids who are LGBT often face alienation, if not outright abandonment, because they come out.”

But for many of Campfield’s supporters, the new rallying cry might just be “Don’t Say Nay.”

http://www.thedailyb...essee-bill.html
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Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:43 PM

Any publicity is better than no publicity?

Edit: BTW, here's a could overview on the origins of HIV:

http://www.avert.org...in-aids-hiv.htm

Edited by Heretic, 05 February 2013 - 12:51 PM.

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