A bill that would have banned discussion of homosexuality in grades kindergarten through eight in Tennessee will not come to a vote in this legislative session, according to the legislation's sponsor. Republican state Rep. Joey Hensley said he's received assurances from state education officials that sexuality would not be classroom topics at those grade levels. "With that assurance and the opposition of some people who didn't want to vote on it, I've decided simply not to bring it up," Hensley said, though he reserved the right to reintroduce the legislation next year if he finds evidence of "alternative lifestyles" being promoted in Tennessee schools.
With openly LGBT candidates announcing runs for office at a record pace this year, 2010 could be the "Year of the Gay," Chris Johnson writes. Several out candidates are running for federal, statewide and local offices, possibly inspired by the success of high-profile elected officials such as Houston Mayor Annise Parker, sources note. Still, openly LGBT elected officials are not yet represented in public office in proportion to the overall LGBT population, noted Dan Pinello, a professor at the City University of New York.
Actress Hilary Duff and comedian Wanda Sykes are among the spokespeople for a new PSA campaign coordinated by the Ad Council to address the issue of bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teenagers. The campaign, which is a pro bono effort by Arnold Worldwide, New York, for the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, features the tagline: "When you say, 'That's so gay,' do you realize what you say? Knock it off."
South Carolina's Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism announced it was dropping out of a U.K.-based marketing push to attract gay tourists and would not pay vendor Amro Worldwide about $5,000 for the campaign. The campaign was tied into Pride Week festivities and featured the slogan "South Carolina is so gay."
A student-led campaign at the University of Virginia to stop peers and alumni from shouting "not gay" in place of the word "gay" in the school's traditional fight song is meeting with mixed reactions. The school newspaper, The Cavalier Daily, has endorsed the effort, but some students have objected to it as an infringement on their free-speech rights.