Opponents speak out against controversial anti-gay bills - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Opponents speak out against controversial anti-gay bills

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Opponents of anti-gay legislation in Nashville are making videos and drumming up support against two controversial bills Tennessee state lawmakers are considering.

The two bills have one big message.  One bill will not allow discussion of gay and lesbian issues in elementary and middle schools in the state.  A second states that students would not be punished under school anti-bullying policies for speech based on religious or political convictions.

"It limits the teacher's ability to address issues a student might want to discuss with them either in private or if they need counseling," said Michelle Bliss with the Tennessee Equality Project.  "It limits the ability of a guidance counselor to talk to a student who might be having issues with his sexual orientation."

The Family Action Council of Tennessee supports the anti-bullying legislation.  On its website, it says, "Anti-bullying policies cannot be used to suppress unpopular or religiously-based speech protected by the First Amendment ... It prevents anti-bullying programs that promote a political agenda."

Discussion of one or more of the bills is set for this week.

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