Mon. Apr 15th, 2024
alert-–-pride-flags-will-be-largely-banned-in-classrooms-across-tennessee-as-democrats-scream-out-in-the-state-house-when-gop-vote-through-the-lawAlert – Pride flags will be largely BANNED in classrooms across Tennessee as Democrats scream out in the state House when GOP vote through the law

The Republican-led Tennessee House passed a bill that would ban pride flags from being displayed in school classrooms.

The House passed the bill in a 70-24 vote on Monday that sent the legislation to the Senate, where a final vote could happen as early as this week.

Known as House Bill 1605, it states schools ‘shall not display any flag other than the United States flag and the official Tennessee state flag on or in a public school.’

A heated debate over the legislation was cut short by Republicans which prompted Democratic Rep. Justin Jones to yell that House Speaker Cameron Sexton was out of order and ignoring people’s requests to speak.

Republicans in turn scolded Jones by voting him out of order, halting his immediate comments.

The Republican-led Tennessee House passed a bill that would ban pride flags from being displayed in school classrooms. House Speaker Cameron Sexton walks by protesters

The Republican-led Tennessee House passed a bill that would ban pride flags from being displayed in school classrooms. House Speaker Cameron Sexton walks by protesters

Known as House Bill 1605, it states schools 'shall not display any flag other than the United States flag and the official Tennessee state flag on or in a public school'

Known as House Bill 1605, it states schools ‘shall not display any flag other than the United States flag and the official Tennessee state flag on or in a public school’

Republicans cut a heated debate short which prompted Democratic Rep. Justin Jones (pictured) to yell that House Speaker Cameron Sexton was out of order

Republicans cut a heated debate short which prompted Democratic Rep. Justin Jones (pictured) to yell that House Speaker Cameron Sexton was out of order

Before that, at least two people against the bill were kicked out of the gallery due to talking over the proceedings as Democrats and other opponents blasted the legislation as unfairly limiting a major symbol of the LGBTQ+ community in schools.

According to The Tennessean, the bill, sponsored by Rep. Gino Bulso, would prohibit the display of any flags that ‘represent a political viewpoint, including but not limited to, a partisan, racial, sexual orientation, gender, or other ideological viewpoint.’

Bulso said parents reached out to him with complaints about ‘political flags’ in classrooms. 

‘Do parents have the right to instill values in their own children that they agree with?’ Bulso said during Monday’s vote.

‘If you have parents across the state who want to instill in their children values represented by the pride flag, they are certainly entitled to do that. On the other hand, if you have parents who want to instill values in their children that are not consistent with the values represented by the pride flag, they have the ability to do that.’

‘What this bill does is it preserves tolerance across the board for all parents and all school children,’ he said.

Rep. Jason Powell said, ‘I am against this bill. I think it is a terrible idea. Right now, this bill is targeting students.’

Rep. Gino Bulso, R-Brentwood, presents a bill on the House floor that would prevent Pride flags from being displayed in schools during a legislative session, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

Rep. Gino Bulso, R-Brentwood, presents a bill on the House floor that would prevent Pride flags from being displayed in schools during a legislative session, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

The proposal marks another development in the ongoing battle over LGBTQ rights in Tennessee. In 2023, Tennessee governor Bill Lee signed a law banning gender-affirming healthcare for children

The proposal marks another development in the ongoing battle over LGBTQ rights in Tennessee. In 2023, Tennessee governor Bill Lee signed a law banning gender-affirming healthcare for children 

The Senate’s version of the bill would be more restrictive about who could sue over a flag, limiting it to that specific school’s students, parents or guardians of those students or employees there.

The proposal marks another development in the ongoing battle over LGBTQ rights in Tennessee, where the state’s conservative leaders have already moved to restrict classroom conversations about gender and sexuality, ban gender-affirming care and limit events where certain drag performers may appear.

In March, Governor Bill Lee signed a law banning gender-affirming healthcare for children.

Alongside the ban on treatment, Lee also signed off on a new law barring ‘adult-orientated’ entertainment, like drag shows, from public property.

In June, a Trump-appointed federal judge ruled the law limiting public drag shows was unconstitutional.

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