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Tennessee lawmaker proposes bill that would ban teaching LGBTQIA+ issues and identity in school

H.B. 0800 was introduced by Representative Bruce Griffey (R - Paris), and would prohibit materials about LGBTQIA+ issues from being used.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee lawmaker proposed a bill that would prohibit educators from teaching students about LGBTQIA+ identities and the issues students in those groups could be facing.

The bill, H.B. 0800, was originally introduced in 2021 but did not pass the legislature due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was introduced by Representative Bruce Griffey (R - Paris) and would specifically prevent state leaders from adopting or using textbooks or any instructional materials that "promote, normalize, support, or address lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender issues."

The bill claims that public schools are meant to focus on subjects like reading, science and mathematics and goes on to say materials that discuss LGBTQIA+ identities and issues are "inappropriate."

It also says that discussions of those issues can offend students and parents with "Christian values" before asserting that discussions of LGBTQIA+ issues should have to follow the same restrictions as religion in schools.

Griffey appeared before the House Finance, Ways, and Means Subcommittee where lawmakers discussed any possible cost the bill would have to the state. He said he could find a specific dollar amount, and planned to return to the committee with more research later. 

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