'Don't Say Gay' bill passes Tennessee Senate

'Don't Say Gay' bill passes Tennessee Senate

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NASHVILLE (WATE/AP) - A measure that would prohibit the teaching of homosexuality in Tennessee public schools has passed the Senate.

Under the proposal approved 20-10 on Friday, any instruction or materials at a public elementary or middle school will be "limited exclusively to age-appropriate natural human reproduction science."

Republican Senate sponsor Stacey Campfield of Knoxville says "homosexuals don't naturally reproduce."

Campfield says current state curriculum is not clear on what can be taught.

The companion bill has been withdrawn from consideration in the House. But its sponsor has said he will bring it up again next year if the Senate version passed.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Tennessee would become the first state to enact such legislation if the proposal passes.

Opponents of the legislation say it would be unfair to students who have same sex parents.

The bill is SB0049.

Actor George Takei, who played Sulu in the Star Trek TV show and films is lending his name to the campaign against Tennessee's legislation.

Takei, who is gay, posted video on YouTube that says, "Anytime you need to say the word gay, you can simply say Takei."

He's also selling a line of "It's okay to be Takei" merchandise and donating the proceeds to charity.

Some portions of this report copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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