Marcel Neergaard, 11, identifies himself as being gay. And since he lives in the state of Tennessee, a proposed bill known as the “Don’t Say Gay" Bill could make his life a lot more difficult.
While the initial version of the bill didn’t pass, an amended version has been introduced. Proposed by Republican state Representative John Ragan, the proposed bill would require school teachers and administrators to “out” gay students to their parents if they approach faculty members with questions about homosexuality. It also calls homosexuality a “lifestyle choice.”
An amendment to the bill would force teachers and school personnel who were approached by students talking about homosexuality to hand them a referral to a mental health professional.
Neergaard shared his views in a blog post this week. “John Ragan's Classroom Protection Act will do harm to LGBT students across the state. It promotes a system that does not educate students about gays, because no one but counselors, nurses and principals can talk about being gay.”
“I’m disappointed,” Rep. Ragan told the AP of the original bill. “I thought it was a good bill. It was about school safety.”