Huffpost Politics

Missouri 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Advances

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A bill in Missouri meant to eliminate any mention of sexual orientation in the state's public schools advanced to committee on Thursday after a first reading.

The brief wording of HB 2051 gets right to the point:

Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no instruction, material, or extracurricular activity sponsored by a public school that discusses sexual orientation other than in scientific instruction concerning human reproduction shall be provided in any public school.

The Vital Voice notes that apart from being a direct move to squelch discussion of gay issues and sexuality, the bill would "keep Gay-Straight Alliances from meeting on school grounds as approved extracurricular entities."

The legislation, sponsored by GOP state Rep. Steve Cookson and co-sponsored by 19 other Republican lawmakers -- including the House Majority Leader Tim Jones, who has birther ties -- will next be discussed in the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.

Missouri isn't the only state to push a so-called "don't say gay" bill. Tennessee advanced a similar bill through multiple votes last year, drawing national mockery, as well as opposition from their Republican governor, Bill Haslam. Despite that legislation's failure, however, Tennessee lawmakers reproduced a new bill this session, which was approved by the state House earlier this week.

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