The Missouri Republican author of a new “Don’t Say Gay” bill feels misunderstood, and doesn’t understand why people are upset after GOP lawmakers supporting his bill compared same-sex marriage to bestiality (yes, bestiality). Republican state Rep. Steve Cookson (image, right, with wife Joy,) says he’s only trying to take evil topics like homosexuality and same-sex marriage and bestiality (yes, bestiality,) out of schools entirely and put them In the hands of parents, where they belong.
Perhaps Rep. Cookson can call Tennessee state Senator Stacey Campfield and they can compare notes on their respective “Don’t Say Gay” bills and start a fraternity for misunderstood and victimized lawmakers.
But Cookson’s bill, HB 2051, deals with “sexual orientation,” not just homosexuality, he brags — while the 20 members of his cadre of Republican state representatives co-sponsoring Cookson’s bill include talk of bestiality along with homosexuality.
“House Small Business Committee Chairman Dwight Scharnhorst (R-St. Louis), a co-sponsor, said he believes sexual orientation issues should be taught by parents, clergy and physicians. Parents have been passing along responsibility for children to the public schools, partly because of the writings of the late pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock, Scharnhorst said, according to a report in the Huffington Post:
Scharnhorst told HuffPost that teaching about LGBT issues would lead to other discussions. “There is no need to talk about Billy wanting to marry a goat,” he said.
The Huffington Post adds:
“When it comes to sexual orientation, that is a discussion that should be left for the most part up to the parents,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Andrew Koenig (R-Winchester) told HuffPost. “It is a pretty political subject. I know there are a lot of parents that do not want the homosexual agenda taught in the schools.”
Koenig said he has heard of what he called a “homosexual agenda” being taught in elementary school, but when questioned, said he did not know of specific incidents “off the top of my head.”
Igor Volsky at Think Progress notes Rep. Cookson is upset his “Don’t Say Gay” bill “is being misconstrued as an attack on gay people and insists that he is merely seeking to shift the discussion of sexuality from the classroom to the family.”
COOKSON: I just think those are better left outside of the curriculum…I want to bring families back into education, and for those that don’t have that support, we’ll deal with those…. We need to keep the focus on [math and science] for the student body, and not on other things that can be distracting.
While we applaud Cookson’s feelings that the issue of same-sex marriage is all about families, he is dead wrong in his approach.
Cookson defends his “Don’t Say Gay” bill by saying:
Many of the recent articles on HB 2051 have shifted focus away from the true intent of my legislation, which is meant to protect the moral values that are most important to Missouri families. In a time when our public schools continue to struggle financially, we want their focus to be solely on core education issues such as math, science and reading; and not on topics that are better left for discussion in the home at the discretion of parents.
It’s also important to point out that my bill does not target a particular sexual orientation but instead says instruction or materials related to any sexual orientation should not take place in our public schools. This would not prohibit a student struggling with his or her sexual identity from talking to a school counselor or cause any of the other issues that have been misreported by the media. Instead it would simply ensure the focus of our public schools is on the curriculum parents expect their children to learn when they send them to school each day.
Yes, same-sex marriage is so distracting we should make laws not only prohibiting gay people from accesing the institution itself but we should then make laws prohibiting the very discussion of those people you have disenfranchised.
You know who does this? Totalitarian regimes.
Make something illegal then make the discussion of it illegal too.
What does that sound like to you?
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.