A Republican lawmaker introduced a new “Don’t Say Gay” bill into the Tennessee House yesterday, as a companion to infamous state senator Stacey Campfield‘s updated and strengthen anti-gay legislation.
Ragan is perhaps best known for email a constituent to tell her that a gay person is not a “mentally healthy adult human being” — exactly one day after the suicide death of fourteen-year old gay Tennessee teen Phillip Parker.
As The New Civil Rights Movement reported in January of last year, “Rep. John Ragan, a Southern Baptist, pro-life, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-education Republican, responded to a constituent’s letter asking him to oppose a now-infamous Tennessee bill that essentially delivers a license to bully to anyone who claims religious or moral prerogative. Ragan used the phrase ‘mentally healthy adult human being,’ as in, gays and lesbians are not mentally healthy adult human beings, three times in his letter.”
Ragan’s bill, ironically introduced on Valentine’s Day, is identical to Sen. Campfield’s, and legally requires that any school official approached by any student with questions or comments about “inconsistent with natural human reproduction,” i.e., homosexuality, contact that child’s parents.
In other words. if Johnny is gay, bi, or trans, or questioning, and approaches his favorites trusted teacher, that teacher would now be required to contact Johnny’s parents and out him. In the state of Tennessee, where it’s safe to say the overwhelming majority of parents likely would not be welcoming.
If the Campfield-Ragan bill passes and if Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signs it into law, expect Tennessee’s LGBTQ homeless population to increase, expect more LGBTQ youth and teen suicides, and expect tolerance to drop.
In short, if Tennessee’s “new and improved” “Don’t Say Gay” bill becomes law, Stacey Campfield and John Ragan will have blood on their hands.
In other news, less than 24 hours after Richard Mourdock’s offensive comments about rape, Ragan came under attack for claiming abortion should be allowed “in certain cases of violent rape or incest,” suggesting he should be the arbiter “of what is and is not a ‘legitimate’ or ‘violent’ rape,” according to Jennifer Buck Wallace, Executive Director of the Tennessee Democratic Party. “
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