Thursday, January 31, 2013

What is happening in the Volunteer State??

All apologies to my friends from Tennessee, but things are going utterly crazy in your state! While one of these instances alone is enough to raise eyebrows, all three together make me wonder just what exactly is in the water these days...

See this dog? Looks pretty harmless, right? Well, apparently his owner took him to a Jackson, Tennessee shelter to be euthanized, not because he was vicious or tore things apart, but because he suspected the dog was gay. Seriously. The shelter wrote on its Facebook page:
This guy was signed over to RC, not because he's mean or because he tears things up, but because...His owner says he's gay! He hunched another male dog so his owner threw him away because he refuses to have a "gay" dog!
Fortunately, the dog is in the process of being adopted by a rescue agency, which will have him neutered, tested for heartworm, and vetted for behavioral issues before placing him in an approved home. All I know is, someone deserved to be euthanized in this situation, and it wasn't the dog.

But that's not all. The Tennessee state assembly is again discussing passage of SB234, or the "Don't Say Gay" bill, which died with the adjournment of the assembly last year. This bill bars Tennessee teachers from discussing any facet of "non-heterosexual" sexuality with children in grades K-8. But the newest iteration also includes a provision requiring teachers or counselors to inform the parents of some students who identify themselves as LGBT. The bill says:
A school counselor, nurse, principal or assistant principal from counseling a student who is engaging in, or who may be at risk of engaging in, behavior injurious to the physical or mental health and well-being of the student or another person; provided, that wherever possible such counseling shall be done in consultation with the student’s parents or legal guardians. Parents or legal guardians of students who receive such counseling shall be notified as soon as practicable that such counseling has occurred.
Are members of the Tennessee state assembly satisfied with the number of children committing suicide because they are depressed about coming to terms with their sexuality? Are they willing to chance that more children are turned out on the street by their parents because they're "turned in" by those purporting to provide guidance and advice? To me, this bill is unconscionable, and any lawmaker who votes for it should be ashamed. I know that those who support equality are increasingly finding themselves on the right side of the law, but this is simply unacceptable.

And from the sublime to the ridiculous, in an interview on MSNBC's The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd, Senator Lamar Alexander, Tennessee's senior senator, former education secretary under President George H.W. Bush, and a former presidential candidate himself, said that "video games is [sic] a bigger problem than guns because video games affect people." Seriously, folks. It doesn't get much better than this. Watch for yourself.

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