A Missouri bill that would prohibit discussion of sexual orientation in classes outside of scientific instruction is making its way through the state legislature and is expected to make its way to the House floor in the next few weeks.
The bill has at least 20 co-sponsors, including GOP House Speaker Steve Tilley (Perryville) and Majority Leader Tim Jones (R-Eureka).
The bill has ignited uproar among homosexual activist who commonly refer to the legislation as the "don't say gay" bill.
"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 Chairman Andrew Koenig (R-Winchester) told Huffington Post. "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."
However, the language in the bill addresses other forms of sexual orientation and does not focus only on homosexual issues. "No instruction, material, or extracurricular activity sponsored by a public school that discusses sexual orientation other than in scientific instruction concerning human reproduction shall be provided in any public school," reads the bill.
The one issue that seems to be generating the most discussion among homosexual activists and bloggers is that it would ban what are known as "gay-straight" alliances. Opponents of the bill say this is a violation of "free speech."
"It's clear that this proposed bill does nothing to protect students," said A.J. Bockelman, executive director of the group PROMO, to reporters. "In some ways, however, these enemies of Free Speech have done us a favor. By attempting to coerce teachers and student into making this core reality of our lives unspeakable, they have only proved why LGBT students need greater, better, and stronger protection in our schools."
Yet supporters of the bill say the reason such legislation exist is because of the very opposite reasons stated by the gay activists. "First of all, a homosexual lifestyle is anything but a 'core reality' in an elementary, middle or high school," Tom Blankenship, a school counselor outside of Atlanta, Ga., told The Christian Post.
"Their strategy has always been to make people think that a significant percentage of students and teachers either live or support a homosexual lifestyle and that is simply not true," said Blankenship. "Are there students who struggle with sexual issues and identity? Absolutely. But in my 20 years of working with students, many of them who are conflicted about sexual identify have experienced some type of trauma in their childhood and getting the right type of counseling is important in these cases."
The bill's prime sponsor, Rep. Steve Cookson (R-Fairdealing), issued a press release around mid-day Tuesday clarifying the intention of the legislation and that it would not prohibit students from speaking to counselors about such issues.
"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," said Cookson in his statement.
"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."
The bill has been referred to the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.