Tennessee Passes Bill Allowing The Bullying of LGBT Students In The Name Of ‘Religious Freedom’

Tennessee governor Bill Haslam has just received a bill that allows and encourages anti-gay bullying in the name of “religious freedom.”

The Tennessee “Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act” allows students to use religion in any manner they choose, and protects their use of religion.

The ACLU warns that the bill, SB 1793/HB 1547, “crosses the line from protecting religious freedom into creating systematic imposition of some students’ personal religious viewpoints on other students.”

“Should this pass, students with a range of religious beliefs, as well as non-believers, would likely routinely be required to listen to religious messages or participate in religious exercises that conflict with their own beliefs,” the ACLU adds. “Conversely, if a student of a minority religious faith (e.g., a Buddhist, a Wiccan, etc.) or a non-believer were to obtain a ‘position of honor,’ as defined under this bill, that student would be permitted to subject all classmates to prayer and proselytizing specific to his or her faith tradition in connection with school events. In both cases, parents would have no recourse to ensure that their children were not coerced into such religious exercise.”

According to TheNewCivilRightsMovement:

At a basic level, a student could merely write “God” on a chemistry test as the answer to a question asking to where water comes from. A student could also stand in class and say their religion says that gay people are sinners and going to hell, and that speech would be legally protected. The bill states “a student may express beliefs about religion in homework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of their submissions. A student would not be penalized or rewarded on account of the religious content of the student’s work.”

Creationists of course will love the bill.

But the more sinister part of the bill forces all students to be subjected to the religious beliefs of the popular kids.

Tennessee’s “Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act” actually mandates that schools allow students the use of public school facilities — including the school’s public address system, classrooms and school assemblies — and makes schools “[p]rovide the forum in a manner that does not discriminate against a student’s voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint.”

An evangelical student, or example, could preach the gospel during a science class, or “witness” during English. Attacks on LGBT people and same-sex marriage are automatically protected under this bill, offering anti-gay students a state-sposored license to bully. And of course, a student could claim they worship Satan and subject their classmates to that “religious viewpoint” as well.

The bill, of course, likely violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, but that rarely stops conservative lawmakers on a religious mission.

Republican governor Bill Haslam hopefully will show moral courage and veto this bill. If he signs it, he’ll be forcing all Tennessee students to be subjected to the religious beliefs of their classmates, and forcing Tennessee into a costly battle in court.

But given that the Tennessee senate passed the bill yesterday on a 32-0 vote, and the House passed it 90-2, any veto Haslam considers likely will be overridden.

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  1. Joel on March 25, 2014

    Seriously? Don’t they have better things to do than wasting time of pathetic bills like these?

    • Trey Hughes on March 27, 2014

      They have nothing better to do,I hate living this TN when things like this happen,I’m still in H.S and by doing this they’re allowing what already happens,to become legal.And allowing most,if not every person to get away with this.Just by saying “In the name of God”

    • therain on April 25, 2014

      Seriously? I am forced to accept the homosexual agenda?

      • Kym Arnold on April 27, 2014

        Are you serious, the gay agenda ~!??? What pray tell is :The gay agenda” Do please explain this to me ~!

      • Marie-Soleil on May 16, 2014

        It amazes me that you think there is a ”gay agenda”. No gay person will every try to change whatever in other people’s sexual orientation. I don’t even know how you can think you can just change like that. Have you ever tried changing your sexuality? Why not becoming gay for a few days?? That doesn’t work like that. If someone is openly gay, how does that make it an agenda? Does that make you feel insecure??

  2. Samantha on March 25, 2014

    Absolutely disgusting. Is there no human rights law there to prevent this?

    • Janice Adams on March 25, 2014

      Yes Samantha there is a human rights law to prevent this it is called the Constitution of the United States of America. I suggest all lawmakers that are proved to pass laws contrary to the Constitution be removed from office and put in stocks in the public square for trying to take society back to the time when that was punishment.

      • Anonymous on March 27, 2014

        bye bye obama

        • Anonymous on March 27, 2014

          Blame everything on Obama , you douchebag hillbilly

          • therain on April 25, 2014

            Your homosexual anger is showing.

        • Rory on April 2, 2014

          DID YOU KNOW:
          Obama is not actually a lawmaker.

      • Anonymous on March 28, 2014

        Actually schools restrict the expression of ALL religious freedoms including Buddhism, Christianity and even those of Jewish people. If people actually read the bill it states that “Ensure that a student speaker does not engage in speech that
        is obscene, vulgar, offensively lewd, indecent or promotes illegal drug
        use; and
        (4) State, in writing, orally, or both, that the student’s speech does
        not reflect the endorsement, sponsorship, position, or expression of the

        Now to make sure not one goes and twists these words what that means is that this bill only allows students to express their religious beliefs WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE CONSTITUTION. In fact, all of those who say the constitution doesn’t allow religious freedom like this should go back and read it. It allows for religious freedom. Schools take that right away from students to a certain degree.

        • No name on March 28, 2014

          So exactly what constitutes “Ensure that a student speaker does not engage in speech that is obscene, vulgar, offensively lewd, indecent or promotes illegal drug use?”…because to me that pretty much sums up religion. Saying people are going to hell is obscene, vulgar, indecent and disrespectful. So how could such legislation even be enforced?…If you want to talk about your religious beliefs go to a bible study or your church. No need to plague our public schools with such nonsense.

          • Anonymous on March 28, 2014

            Its actually funny because I do not practice religion nor conform to one but I feel and the constitution states that people are allowed to practice religion freely. Schools do not allow students to do that. This bill does. And where on earth did you get someone going to hell from what I just said. If a religious person where to say that to a student there is the possibility of them being punished for such although people say it all the time, The bill states that if a student infringes on another’s rights int he practice of their own rights then there is an issue. So you are saying that schools have the right to infringe upon student rights. Wonderful.

          • Mike on May 13, 2014

            I’d Refer you to Chaplinsky V. New Hampshire and Justice Murphy’s Unanimous Decision
            Murphy wrote:

            There are certain well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which have never been thought to raise any constitutional problem. These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or “fighting” words those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.

        • Josh Kilcoyne on March 28, 2014

          i’m not really sure how i ended up on this website, but… i read the article, then read the bill, and am now reading the comments. you are the only commenter that i have found on here that has even attempted to use new or individual reasoning and not simply fall into group-think. i don’t know who you are as a person nor do i know your background or position on the topic, and my very point is that i don’t care because it’s irrelevant; congratulations, i applaud you for using your brain.

          • EB on April 5, 2014

            OK, here’s the thing about religion in schools. Schools do not forbid the practice of religion. If a student wishes to pray, they are absolutely allowed to do it. They are simply not allowed to make a spectacle of it. They are free to pray, silently, any time they wish. And ultimately, for Christians, anyway, this is what Christ instructed us to do. He never instructed us to go out into the open and scream our faith at the top of our lungs. He told us to, more or less, go into the closet and pray alone, in privacy, because we were talking to our God. (I cannot recall exactly the chapter and verse, but I know it’s there.) Our relationship with God is not supposed to be on display. So go ahead and tell your children to pray if they want. They just need to do it silently. Turn the tables a moment, and imagine that your child is Christian and has a Musilm child sitting next to him, praying out loud, and by so doing is deemed to be ‘pushing his religion down your child’s throat.’ Then how would you feel? (That is a generic “you”, not directed at one person specifically)

            I guess I just feel that if you are in your church or place of worship, where you all agree on your religion, then go ahead and pray out loud together. But if you’re in the middle of a school, a public, secular school, either keep it to yourself or leave it until you get home. In any case, this law is not about religious freedom at all. This case is about prejudice and discrimination under the guise of freedom. As they say, your freedom to express your anger or frustration by punching stops at the end of my nose. If you want to punch the air, by all means, go ahead if it makes you feel better. But once your fist touches my face, you have intruded upon my freedom to not be punched in the face, which is legally termed assault. And we all know that this is what will happen, eventually. Some kid will take this too far, saying that his religion told him that he should punish the “sinner”. And some poor gay kid, or some poor kid who is simply assumed to be gay (whet hers/he is or not) is going to either be beaten to death, or close to it under the guise of “religious” freedom. And that is simply NOT ok. This kind of stuff just sickens me. Let’s just all practice the kind of love that we are taught is holy, whether we are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, or anything else. Understand that we are all a little different, and that difference implies no sense of superiority or inferiority. It simply means that we are not the same in some ways. We need to respect our differences, and our similarities. We’ll all be better human beings for it.

        • Derf on February 27, 2015

          How exactly do “schools restrict the expression of ALL religious freedoms including Buddhism, Christianity and even those of Jewish people.”?

      • Dale Layton on March 28, 2014

        Thank you. I noticed the redneck hillbillies mostly write their comments in anonymity. How cowardly.

        • Anonymous on March 28, 2014

          Ah yes, call the 19 year old middle class female on the east coast a hillbilly. And why on earth do you need to know my name what will that do for you? So you can insult me using your freedom of speech, which if you were a student who identified with a certain religion you would not have in school.

          • Anonymous on March 30, 2014

            FYI, schools restrict religious language and other religious things because in the constitution it states that no government institution shall hold one religion over another so that impartiality and fairness will be given. And as you know, I hope, public schools get public and government funding and thus are treated as a governmental building. That is why this bill is atrocious and why schools limit certain freedoms for the sake of fairness. Private schools have the freedom to do and teach and manage anyhow they want so long as they do not take public money or governmental money

        • Anonymous on March 30, 2014

          Isn’t that the truth… they have ALWAYS been COWARDS!!!

        • Bernie on April 26, 2014

          Yeah many do that is because unless they agree with you the loose their jobs. How is that fair? This is bulling to the max. It is group think. I think that all of you should be forced to be straight or loose your j obs. That does not sit so well now does it?

  3. Anonymous on March 25, 2014

    Christian use to = Christ like now means haters. To bad a few make many look so hatefule.

  4. linda anderson on March 25, 2014

    this is bullshit. ignore it. it will go away. americans still don’t get separation of church and state.

    • Scar on March 26, 2014

      Ignoring this will be the exact reason why this will pass.

      • no name on March 26, 2014

        I agree, can’t ignore and let the governmental bullies win in the name of “religion”.

        • Leighton on October 21, 2014

          I know I’m only 16 years old, but this is a bunch of crap. Nobody deserves to be bullied, EVER. If we have the freedom of religion then why are people using religion against gays, lesbians, ect. It’s not okay. You don’t have to like them if you think it’s wrong. I don’t care. We can’t force anyone to like homosexuals. But, in Tennessee, how many people are going to end up committing suicide because of this?? People complain that gays “throw being gay” out everywhere they go. But, what about the Christians that throw “being gay is a sin” out there.

    • B. Wambold on March 26, 2014

      Which does not exist in any law or document…what you refer to is the fact that the government may not support a single religion. It does not say that there will not be faith in guiding this nation. It was after all founded on Judeo-Christian values. Don’t feel the need to eliminate those values from the foundation and watch everything crumble.

      • Nope on March 27, 2014

        NO. The United States were NOT founded on religious dogma. Google Treaty of Tripoli.

        “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

        • Anonymous on March 28, 2014

          You need a history class. The US started with Puritans. The US Congress was the first to print off an English Bible. The Congress then went on to print off 10,000 more Bibles for use in homes and schools. The first law of education was to have the Bible in schools (until it was repealed in 1963). So grow a brain a use it.

          • Anonymous on March 28, 2014

            US Congress first to print off an English Bible? US started with Puritans? I think YOU are the one in need of a history lesson. Ever heard of the King James Version of the Bible? Authorized by King James I of England, who happened to be Queen Elizabeth I ‘s nephew (as she didn’t have any children of her own). That was in 1604, btw. The US was not officially a country until 172 years later on July 4, 1776. And the Puritan “pilgrims” who lived in Plymouth were NOT the first white settlers in Virginia, much less North America. Try Jamestown, which was mostly businessmen and farmers looking to make a quick buck on some free land. Get your fucking facts straight, asshole. You just look like an idiot.

          • Anonymous on March 29, 2014

            The U.S. was not. Founded. On. Christian. Land. Please. Go. Back. To. School.

          • Anonymous on April 2, 2014

            Someone needs a history lesson. Congress NEVER funded, ordered, or in any way printed a Bible on behalf of the government nor its citizens. Congress did authorize and authenticate the accuracy of the Aitken Bible, but that was it. Aitken had asked Congress to buy them and distribute them (as they were poor sellers, despite the fact they were the only new Bibles available at the time), but Congress declined his gracious offer. Aitken LOST money on his Bible printing — even back then, people had better tings to do with their money.

        • Anonymous on March 28, 2014

          thank you for setting that idiot straight

      • L. Fox on May 6, 2014

        Justice Hugo Black wrote in Everson v. Board of Education: “In the words of Thomas Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect a wall of separation between church and state.” The separation of church and state is derived from the First Amendment of the Constitution.

  5. Mark on March 25, 2014

    Most seem to believe in some form of supernatural something and the push back comments seem to be total non-belief only. Alternative and logical is believe whatever you desire simply keep it to yourself. Why this obsession with preventing equality, forcing it on all.

    • Joshua on February 28, 2015

      You know Mark, you’re right. But I don’t think most people understand the paradigm shift that’s happened. For the first time in human history, we have a really good explanation for everything based on empirical observations. Some of this understanding is very, very recent. While I respect the rights of anyone to believe what they want, at some point we have to tell the kids Santa isn’t really coming down the chimney. That doesn’t mean we stop celebrating the tradition. But when we now actually know how the universe works, how long can we bury our heads in the sand and pretend the wild guessing of some desert-dwellers from several millennia ago is adequate justification public policy? At some point, both in the individual and in society, it becomes untenable. Whether you tell them or not, the kids will eventually be educated enough to figure out Santa can’t come really down chimney. That’s pretty much the precipice where humanity sits rights now.

  6. Giorgio on March 25, 2014

    I agree with what the legislature is trying to do. There is a seperation between organized church and state but no seperation between God and state. Plus people need to read the constitution and the history.

    • Ray on March 26, 2014

      Wrong. There may not be a separation between you and God, but that relationship is between you and God. As a nation, we do not have a relationship with God. We only have a relationship to each other.

    • Callum on March 27, 2014

      God told me he’s on the Queen of England’s side, it seems he’s been cheating on you !

    • Jeni on March 27, 2014

      It’s SEPARATION…sep-Ar-ation. it’s a little cliche to make this sort of comment and misspell.

  7. sally on March 26, 2014

    This seems to be about protecting ‘Christian’ freedom. Even the tone of the article, ” “Conversely, if a student of a minority religious faith (e.g., a Buddhist, a Wiccan, etc.) or a non-believer were to obtain a ‘position of honor,’ as defined under this bill, that student would be permitted to subject all classmates to prayer and proselytizing specific to his or her faith tradition in connection with school events. In both cases, parents would have no recourse to ensure that their children were not coerced into such religious exercise.””

    So… good ‘ol Christian values are shoved down peoples throats, if ‘non believers’ or ‘minority groups’ get a voice? Parents must make sure their children at not subjected to it!

    • Haley on March 27, 2014

      They are of another Religion. They would be FORCED (Let me put it again, FORCED) to obey the laws of another Religion in School. They would be disobeying their God/Gods. That would break the Constitutional Right of Freedom of Religion.

      • Anonymous on March 28, 2014

        No where in the bill does it states they will be forced to follow another religion or any religion. It actually states the opposite that no one can be forced into a religion. Read the bill.

        • Anonymous on March 29, 2014

          You are right now, basically supporting this bill. This bill allows education to go down the damn trash chute.
          “Where do amino acids come from?”
          “OH I know! God.”
          That is what is going to happen in those schools now. And no one can stop it because they are protected. The amount of Christians is one of the most supported religions.
          Meaning, this basically is putting a shield around them.
          Yes, they are FORCING someone into their religion. Forcing does not always mean “DO THIS OR IMA HURT YOU.”
          This bill allows the bullying of different religions, and “sinners.”
          Basically, if I said my belief, which is I do not believe in any God, it would be okay for me to get my ass beat and when questions why my attackers could easily say it was because of religions freedom. And I would have to deal with it.
          This is forcing someone to hold off their beliefs because of butthurt religonist.
          I thought there was suppose to be separation of church from government, religious freedom. Wth happened to all of that.
          On my beliefs, I do not believe in violence to solve anything. While yes, I have participated in violence from anger, it does not solve one damn thing. Beating up a kid for being gay, or being a Buddhist or Jewish or no belief at all will not help anything. I will just cause a mass amount of suicides, bullying, depression cases. I could go on. This is provoking the use of violence and absolutely abolishing people’s freedom of speech.

          I would NEVER want my science teacher to open up a damn bible and start preaching to me. Just like I wouldnt want a Muslim to open up the Qu’ran and start reading.
          It is disrespectful to everybody and it is not right! I am there to learn about science, math, literature, art, P.E. and global. (or any other electives.) Not to listen to a damn religious lesson.
          We already have religious schools and many religions are giving a free pass to do many bad things andwe have religion on our money. What the hell else more do they want?
          The United States was not founded on christian land. No sir, it was not.
          So how about we stop humping bibles and forcing religion down people’s throats and actually start working together to fight the more important problems in this country.

          • Anonymous on March 30, 2014

            First off. The bills means that a student can say such an answer yes, but it does not mean they have the correct answer. It means that if they wanted to draw a project for art class of something religious based they could and not be discriminated against for it. It does not give them the right to fail a class. It states that students have freedom of religious expression which is a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT that schools actually RESTRICT. And if someone infringes upon another student’s constitutional rights int he name of religion the same will happen as if someone did that outside a school system. So you want to get rid of freedom of religious expression go take that up with the constitution.

            It is how people may apply it that will go wrong and if kids start bullying other student’s in the name of religion well then their religion taught them to do that and their parents probably encouraged it.. If you think this is taking away that separation then you are saying that schools and the government have no place to allow or protect religious freedom of expression.

            If I came up to you now and said that you cannot say all of what you just said because it had religious connotation (either against or for but in this case against) you would not be very happy because someone was restricting your freedom of expression. That is what schools do. This bill says that they cannot do that but the bill puts certain LIMITS on that in case you did not read this bill and just read the misleading title and other misguided comments.

    • Anonymous on March 28, 2014

      Oh dear. Okay so they say minority religion because FEWER PEOPLE ARE OF THOSE RELIGIONS. That is a fact. Minority refers to less in numbers not less in status. And the Bill SPECIFICALLY states that no one can be forced into religion and no one has to abide by it. Read the bill.

  8. Bobby trendy on March 26, 2014

    Well, should I slap, then shit then piss on the law maker that made this law up and say God made me do it?

  9. Ashley D on March 26, 2014

    I say good for them. Because if we are using are religous belief there should be no bullying. Because in christianity we do not judge. So ya i’m pretty pissed off and wanna yell in the faces of every person who passed this law. Even being a christian they shouldnt give you the right to bully, harass, or hurt anyone at all because they are lgbt or any different than you. . Because that isnt chistianity. Thats bullshit.

  10. Debra on March 26, 2014

    Giorgio~are you insane? Find me a place in the Constitution that mentions “god.” When the founders said there shall be no organized religion made by the state, that meant no religion, no god shall ever be established as “THE” only religion in this country. In fact the three abrahamic religions are mentioned by the Founders specifically as NOT being part of the country and its founding. There is to be NO established religion. Keep that garbage in pulpits and your home. seperation of church and state means just that~keep YOUR brand of brainwashing where it belongs~and it does not belong in secular society.

    • B. Wambold on March 26, 2014

      They wanted to make sure, unlike where they left England, that there not be a nationally sponsored religion that had governmental control – Church of England – or look back to the early Popes and the crap they pulled. However, they in NO way said that religion should not be part of the foundation of this country…it is very much in every aspect of the legal system.. A) it is NOT garbage B) it is NOT brainwashing and C) I will never live in a secular society.

      • Madibe on March 27, 2014

        B. Wambold A) It is garbage!! B) All religions are forms of brainwashing!! When you force feed your children a belief system, before they understand what life is all about, you’re damn right that’s a form of brainwashing! If a person wants religion, they should be allowed to explore on their own, not force fed! C) This is suppose to be a secular society, where everyone who lives here or comes here to live, can be comfortable in either, not having a religion, or a religion that is in the minority, or a major religion like Christianity! How about, you believe in all the crazy BS you want, but keep your religion to yourself!! When I feel the ignorance of religions being shoved down my throat, I shove back!!

        • Jeni on March 27, 2014

          Why is it okay for non-religious people to have the freedom to express what you just did and religious people shouldn’t. Slightly hypocritical. I think this law is INSANE (I’m from TN). I’m a Christian and I don’t shove it down anyone’s throat. You are generalizing based in ignorance.

          • Jeni on March 27, 2014

            I should add… ignorance and fear. “All forms of religions are brainwashing.” You sound about as ignorant as these lawmakers. You’re bashing people that have faith in a higher power…. people that are “different” then you. What happened to humanity…. we’re all just trying to live here. Life is hard and you shouldn’t judge based only on what your narrow perspective can see.

          • Jeff B on September 16, 2014

            Jeni, you’re an atheist about one less god than I am. That’s all.

      • Lois on March 27, 2014

        You already DO live in a secular society, B.W., and you should be very grateful for that. Imagine if we did live in the Bible-based law system that you seem to admire so much. Are you really prepared to gather all the men of your neighborhood together to stone your daughter to death because she wasn’t a virgin on her wedding night? Are you prepared to personally take action to kill people suspected of witchcraft or sorcery?

        How do you like the idea of buying your slaves from surrounding nations, or selling your daughter to pay off a debt, or never again eating seafood and pork, or always conforming to the commands of a priesthood? If you lived in a religious society, you’d be miserable. Thank your invisible God that the Founding Fathers were nearly all deists and not Christians, or this would be a very different country, and you wouldn’t have the right to complain about it.

      • Callum on March 27, 2014

        It is the definition of brainwashing lol

      • Brandler on March 27, 2014

        Well then, Mr. Wambold, you are in the wrong place.

  11. Sam on March 26, 2014

    So what’s the next law they will pass? Next is probably a law that will say killing other people is allowed if it’s in yor religion. Like seriously what has this world come to. I am a straight Christian Catholic and I fully believe that same-sex marriage and same-sex relationships are awesome if someone can be with the one they love who are we to judge.

    • Karen on March 26, 2014

      They already have a law allowing people to kill others…”stand your ground” just pick a reason why you felt you were scared and you can blow someones head off, no questions asked, unless you’re a person of color, then you’re going to prison.

  12. The Patriot on March 26, 2014

    Guaranteed, those responsible for this bill are out to further make Christians look bad, or they are simply homophobes and this has nothing to do with religion. Thing is, if you’re Christian, your “religious freedoms” do not allow you to beat up people because they are gay. So, allowing bullying of gays due to “religious freedoms” is completely bogus.

  13. Mike on March 26, 2014

    These are the SAME laws and arguments Christian law makers have used since the 1950’s. They are versions of Jim Crow laws. They use “scripture” to enact laws that would belittle or recriminate minorities or any group that went against their ultra conservative values and morals. These law makers are Klan supporters and anti government extremists, yet they beg the government to help them hate. They hate gays and blacks and “Mexicans,” yet they hire us to work for them when no conservative white Christian is willing to work for a low wage. They hate the government and feel it’s too big or intrusive, yet they beg the government to crawl into the bedrooms of people deemed “gross” by their standards. They call us abominations yet they allow their bodies to reach super morbid obese proportions and they themselves commit horrible acts of abuse and debauchery in the privacy of their homes. This is the same struggle experienced by black people who were spat upon, called MONGRELS, beaten, lynched, publicly shamed, etc., all due to scripture found in the King James Bible. Our responsibility as Americans is to shine a very big spot light on them every time a law like this comes to pass. Instead of going to the gay bars, gather a group of friends and protest outside of offices, protest a business, you get as much media assistance as you can muster. It’s not fun but it does work. You shame them in public until they back down, and they will. Bigots don’t like to be brought into the light. This is why Klansmen wore hoods and worked at night. The new Klan passes “bills” and uses Fox “news.” You shine the light on them! Shame them. Go to their homes. Let their neighbors know who these bigots are. No sit back and let them rape your rights away. Embarrass them!

  14. Barbra on March 26, 2014

    Sadly, I live in Tennessee and am a trans woman. Reading between the lines and knowing these people like I do I can tell you exactly what this all means. If/when this law passes, let a Christian child get up in class and preach or write GOD as the answer to a test question and almost no one will complain. It’ll like pass unnoticed. However, let a Muslim, wiccan, atheist. or Satanist stand up in class and do the same and there will be indignant moral outrage amongst students and parents alike. They should preface this law by saying that it really applies to Christians ONLY!!!!! Thank God I’m not of school age any longer and don’t have to deal with this. I do feel very sad for the shy gay kid who is now going to have to be even more terrified of going to school for fear of violence and persecution. It’s not right!!!!!!!

  15. Tony on March 26, 2014

    Article section 3 tenessee state constitution
    Section 3. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship
    Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience; that no man
    can of right be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to
    maintain any minister against his consent; that no human authority can, in
    any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience; and that
    no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or
    mode of worship

  16. Korr on March 26, 2014

    So… homosexuality is my religion. Your anti-gay evangelical crap is infringing on my religion. I invoke the protection of “bullshit religious bill #5921″!

  17. James on March 26, 2014

    It’s just going to hurt the people of the state of Tennessee. Along with this “creationism” crap they want to teach. If I were an employer and was sent a resume from a person who graduated from a Tennessee high school, I would simply put that paper into “File 13″ I have no place for people who were taught myth, faith and voodoo were facts in my business.

    • Greg on March 26, 2014

      I guess you wouldn’t hire very many people then. Now you’re discriminating based on religion, its a two way street. idiot.

      • Paula on March 28, 2014

        Refusing to employ someone on the basis that they lack the necessary education to be competent is not religious discrimination, but discrimination based on merit. That is perfectly acceptable.

        If a student can legally throw off the curriculum and say “God did it” as their answer, then they simply are not learning. Ignorant people have no place working in any business I run, regardless of why they are ignorant. I would treat it the same way as someone who “graduated” from a non-accredited school. In fact, I hope all TN schools lose their accreditation officially if this law passes.

        • Jack on March 2, 2015

          As someone who is going to graduate from a TN school next year, I disagree. Although you shouldn’t be allowed to use “god” as an answer for anything and everything, the bill states that using god as an answer will neither be rewarded nor admonished, meaning it probably would end up not counting at all. I’m not for this bill by any means, but it’s worth adding. Not every kid would take advantage, though the vast majority would. However, tossing any application from TN into “file 13″ would be ignorant, which is ironic considering your position.

  18. shaun o'mara on March 26, 2014

    sharia law much?

  19. Ziv on March 26, 2014

    So, this also protects LGBT students and allies when THEY get their hands on the PA system, right? Because that could be delightful.

  20. Monty Gaither on March 26, 2014

    Tennessee is just as backwards as it was during the Scopes trial period. It is wrong to use the schools to force your religious nonsense onto others.

  21. Savannah Buxton on March 26, 2014

    This is complete and utter bull crap! I lived in Tenessee for 7 years, and this angers me. I’m not gay, but i have gay friends and they have right to do what they want! I want to kick this guy in the balls and tell him that he’s an jerk

  22. Gay on March 26, 2014

    A bloodbath is coming.. Good Job TN.

  23. Tim on March 26, 2014

    These people are fucking lunatics, how is this acceptable? Animals. Barbaric and third world backward thinking and values. Come the fuck on and move into ‘now’

  24. hEATHER gILDEA on March 26, 2014

    What happened to ” Judge not, least ye be judged”?

  25. Christina on March 26, 2014

    Tennessee can take their stupid little book of fairy tales and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. F**k religion and f**k Tennessee

    • Johnny on March 26, 2014

      Nice tolerant view, there, Heather. And you think Christians are hateful?

      • David on March 26, 2014

        Yes, because while Christina made a post out of anger and annoyance, but has not hurt anyone, Christians have made a bill where it IS legal to hurt anyone, as long as its for your god. So as she said, “F**k religion and f**k Tennessee”

        • David on March 27, 2014

          Certain “Christian” politicians did this, not the entirety of the Christian faith. I’m a Christian, yet I have no idea why this would ever pass under the guise of religious tolerance. I live in Tennessee and I know of no one that would want this. Being a Christian means you do what is right to help further humanity and shape it into a happier and more cohesive future. I treat my religion like I treat my dick. If you want to know about it, I’ll gladly show you, but I sure as hell won’t shove it down your throat if you don’t want it. This isn’t about religion. This is about pure intolerance of the LGBT community.

          • Pennie on March 27, 2014

            Nicely stated David

      • heathers comment is the only non judgemental one and its from your Christian Myth handbook

  26. aspielawyer on March 26, 2014

    This is not Christianity. This is nothing to do with faith. The US has always had a problem with this distinction. Here in NZ, a lot of people supported Louisa Wall and Kevin Hague’s Marriage Equality Bill which allowed gay marriage, including many Christians. Both these MPs are friends, and both accept Christians as they do everyone else.

    The USA is a divided and devisive Country. These hard line idiots are not speaking for anything else but their hatred, but Americans take them too seriously. Here in NZ, we call them what they are – delusional.

    Many of my LGBT friends are Christians, and many are not. If they are, their logic is impeccable. God is love. They are in love with their partners. Ergo, how can love, which is of God, be wrong? I totally stand by this.

    Christians do not hate gay people. They hate no-one as it is a faith based on love. As such, anyone who says or enacts hate is not a Christian. :-)

    Kia Kaha – Stay strong!

  27. Rasmus Lund on March 26, 2014

    And CNN is all over the Copenhagen Zoo.. Now because they have put down 4 lions to make room for a younger male lion.
    Where is CNN on this?

  28. loreana on March 26, 2014

    Why do I feel everyone is missing the point. It isn’t christian’s vs other religion this is giving rights to everyone to have free speech but it isn’t protecting anyone from doing something wrong like bullying, religious prosecution and physical abuse. If I were to punch you or beat you into an inch of your life, I can claim religious beliefs, and get away with it. It doesn’t mean LGBT vs Christians vs other religions. That is the problem here.

    • Cellana on March 28, 2014

      You’re incredibly naive if you think this means anything but a greater likelihood of the deluded shoving their magic fairytales down the throats of the impressionable. I live in, and have grown up in Tennessee, and the Jesus whackos are out in full force for this.

      Am I anti-theistic? Yes, I am. I don’t care so much to be called that because I’ve seen, directly, what harm it does in the lives of those who are brainwashed with it since birth. Whine and cry all you want that it isn’t indoctrination and brainwashing: it is. I think it’s one of the sickest things you can do to a child, mentally: to teach it it is worthless in the eyes of some anonymous thing unless it follows certain ancient laws written before germs were even discovered.

      Again, Tennessee has a clause in its constitution prohibiting those without a belief system from holding public office. And you can bet your sweet ass that there will be no protection for minority religions. If you’re not a Southern Independent-Fundamental Missionary Baptist Fire-and-Brimstone, gay-hatin’, ‘Murican-lovin’, Jesus-fellatin’ Christian, you will be shut down and treated like a pariah.

  29. Ron Stockton on March 26, 2014

    Let’s not dog religion these are people misusing it in favor of discrimination.

    • David on March 26, 2014

      No, let us dog on religion, for it is that very thing which is allowing this, and has allowed this for centuries!

  30. Mary on March 26, 2014

    I wish Christians would remember that we as Christians have given up our rights when we decided to follow Jesus. We now have a responsibility to love people. The early Christians never demanded anything from the world system. They lived the Kingdom of God which is described as Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit.

    • Amanda on March 28, 2014

      Unfortunately, there are far too few who do not live the Christian principles they preach.

  31. Veirian Mayne on March 26, 2014

    I find this so inexcusably stupid.

    Christian- A follower of the teachings of Christ.

    Teachings of Christ? That no man is better than any other, making man not fit to judge man. Instead it is only his father’s right. (Therefore making any attempt from a Christian to judge another an act of blasphemy.) You also want to keep in mind the only time Christ grew angered in the Bible was when he found the Church used for reasons outside of worshipping his father. (Was being used as a brothel, pub and gambling den. I’m fairly certain it’s not supposed to be used for political holdings either mate.) Finally, name one of Jesus’ deciples that wasn’t a sinner? Name one man that Jesus met in the tales of the Bible that even insinuates that there was another sinless man walking earth. Now tell me what Jesus imparted to all. Cause I’m fairly certain it was compassion love and tolerance.

    So in all truth, until you refuse to judge others, treat everyone fairly and with love, and stop using your religion for politics, you are not a follower of Christ’s teachings, and you are not a Christian, merely one who wears the title and think it makes you special.

  32. A Disgusted Tennessean on March 26, 2014

    Our legislature is a joke – plain and simple. I have never witnessed such a collection of idiotic people in my life. I can only hope the courts will make short work of this law. On the other hand, perhaps I can exercise my deeply-felt religious belief that moronic legislators should be beaten soundly with a tire iron.

  33. Wilbur Storey on March 26, 2014

    This is bullshit, who sponsored the bill numnuts? Prove it!

  34. Kj on March 26, 2014

    What happened to the separation of church and state in this country.. All opinions aside how could any religion dictate any law.. This just puts ignorance on display.. It’s no wonder other countries laugh and don’t like Americans

  35. Tara Spears on March 26, 2014

    If you believe in God, then you know He is the only one who can judge a person. (I am not a believer, yet even I know the bible states this.) That won’t stop people from judging others though, unfortunately. The LGBTQ community has come a long way, but we are still subject to judgement by others in every city, in every town. The majority just want to be able to be looked upon as normal, because in the large scheme of life, that is what we are. This bill brings TN back to the 70’s, and re-establishes the fear that was prevelant at that time. I wish they could see that. My heart bleeds for those this bill might cause harm to, for those that will be forced to hide in the shadows again, just when they began to feel the warmth of the sun.

  36. Wayne Palmer on March 26, 2014

    Why stop at allowing harassment? The idiots could allow stoning. Or even better, allow gays either religious retaliation: “an eye for an eye” or the right to use deadly force: “stand your ground”. Open the floodgates! That’s it! Arm only the gays and allow “stand your ground” as a defense.

  37. Tim Ogle on March 26, 2014

    One of the intrinisic challenges of freedom includes that the freedoms be misused.

    What someone “could do” is a risk that a free society must be willing to take.

    All of us are guilty of misusing our freedoms and trying to hinder others to exercise their’s when it doesn’t fit our ideology.

    If you desire freedom, you must be willing to assume that intrinsic risk.

    • Jason1 on April 1, 2014

      Tim Ogle: “All of us are guilty of misusing our freedoms and trying to hinder others to exercise their’s when it doesn’t fit our ideology.”

      Do try to keep your statements within the realm of logic. Not once have I EVER hindered anyone. In fact, I live by the belief that is: “To each their own.” As long as I’m not being directly affected, people can do whatever they wish. I’m sure there are millions of others who follow the same guidelines.

      • Jason1 on April 1, 2014

        And by “Directly affected” I mean being physically infringed upon or denied my basic rights.

  38. Brandon Schmidt on March 26, 2014

    What happened to the Lemon Test in dealing with legislation being created? Lemon V. Kurtzman would definitely have some precedent in this case to overturn this legislation.

  39. Loretta Budny on March 26, 2014

    I consider myself a child of the Living God. Christianity is a reality, not a religion . As far as I have seen, religion is division. No one and I mean no one has a right to judge another. That is Fathers job. It’s just wrong to get up in someone’s face and call them a sinner. Our relationship with Father is a very personal and private thing. We will all stand before Father for judgement and this is between Father and His child. If we feel a need to speak of our Father to someone, it must be with love, not condemnation. We are All sinners in need of forgiveness.

    • Sean on March 26, 2014

      You claim that it is the right of no one to judge, but go on to call everyone a sinner? You’d already started contradicting yourself when you claimed that Christianity (a religion) was not a religion.

      • Anonymous on March 27, 2014

        When my brother calls everybody sinners in need of forgiveness, he is not judging. If you want to research something for once, actually read the Bible, no, the Ten Commandments, and if you have broken a single law, you are a sinner. You speak out of ignorance, yet you have taken no action to rid yourself of it. You are the prefect definition of what the Bible calls a fool, and you can check, if you actually want to see if it’s true, that is.

        • Chantelle on March 28, 2014

          The Bible is a compilation of writings decided on by a bunch of old men over a thousand years ago. It’s not the word of God, it’s the word of men, men who lived in a vastly different time and a vastly different culture. If you are Christian, you should be living by the teachings of Jesus Christ, not the words of the Old Testament, and Jesus taught everyone to love: not to hate, not to judge and not to discriminate.

          Also, you should really check the usernames. Going by the username on the first commenter (Loretta Budny), your brother is actually a sister…unless he identifies as male, in which case more power to you, brother!

  40. Melissa on March 26, 2014

    We were taught not to bully in the first place, why would a state even allow bullying to begin with, just shows how much more ignorance we have in the world. Great role models we have here.

  41. Tessa on March 26, 2014

    I suggest that you change the title of this article from “Tennessee Passes Bill Allowing Bullying LGBT Students in the Name of Religious Freedom” to Tennessee MIGHT Pass Bill Allowing Bullying LGBT Students in the Name of Religious Freedom”. It is misleading and poorly written if you keep that title but then go on to say that “if the bill passes”. Not that it isn’t ridiculous either way. What fools.

    • Victoria on March 27, 2014

      THANK YOU. Everybody needs to relax, and realize that an entire state cannot be this ignorant. Have some faith in humanity, people!

      • Kelly on March 28, 2014

        Tennesseean here. Lots of faith in humanity, not very much in this state.

  42. Robert White on March 26, 2014

    Funny thing about the law as written? A student who wrote in “god” as the answer is _required_ to receive zero points. That is, since punishment _and_ reward are both forbidden, the teacher should be _required_ to score the test as if the question were unanswered (e.g. answering “god” is leaving the answer blank under this law).

    When the first brave teacher actually follows this law and begins treating all mentions of faith as proper null responses, well you just watch the shite storm commence among the persons of faith.

  43. Allison on March 26, 2014

    You have got to be kidding me…

    This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! Allow bullying? People of the LGBT community could be Christians. But, would you know it? No, you’re more worried about other people being offended about someone else’s lifestyle. They’re people just like the rest of us. Well, the one’s who are sane. I’m a Christian, but I am not going to judge or tell someone else how to live their life or tell them who they can and can’t love. That’s just absurd. The only one who can judge us all in the end is God. Being gay, straight, bi, lesbian, etc., DOES NOT make you a bad person. How would you feel if they were to come up to you and tell you they don’t like what you’re doing and who you can and can’t be with. This is all just stupid. This bill SHOULD NOT pass!!

  44. Catherine on March 26, 2014

    OMG this is so fucked up!

  45. MLHenson on March 26, 2014

    There is no logical reason to bully anyone, yet the Tennessee senate is so Homophobic they are passing a law to make it legal to bully a LGBT person. Stupid!!

  46. Libertarianism all the way on March 26, 2014

    Yes, this bill has things in it that naturally are not liked by the general population. This bill, however, does not violate the constitution. What this bill does show us though is that public education naturally infringes on people’s rights. In public school, the right to freedom of speech is taken away. For example, sexual harassment is perfectly okay under the constitution, but we forbid it in school. This is a violation of the freedom of speech. Personally, I think sexual harassment is WRONG, but people should be allowed to do it since the government has no right to take rights away. Private schools, however have every right, because it is completely voluntary. A private school has every right to forbid sexual harassment because it is a choice to go there, not a forced thing. So what this bill shows is two things. Forcing people to go to school is wrong, and public education naturally violates our rights. Thank you, Rand Paul for 2016.

    • Guadalupe on April 7, 2014

      “For example, sexual harassment is perfectly okay under the constitution, but we forbid it in school. This is a violation of the freedom of speech.”

      And this is an example of why Libertarianism never gained any traction since the 19th Century. Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Libertarian outside the United States and Eastern Europe.

  47. Amaxicos on March 26, 2014

    I don’t see such the problem with the bill. It does not say that they have the right nor is it saying that it is encouraging kids to belittle others, it is just giving the right to those who want to have extra-curricular clubs that include prayer groups and learning groups about coexisting ect…. I know gay christians, I know christians that are not horribly judgmental. read the other side of the case before you judge

  48. Anonymous on March 26, 2014

    Or people could quit being pussies and fight back. Getting picked on is a fact of life. If you’re gay, fat, bad at sports, anything kids will find something to pick on you for it doesn’t matter. Stop making bulling a big deal and teach your kid not to take anyone shit and actually stand up for their self. This country could use more people like that. Than those so readily to take orders or do the politically correct thing, without questioning or being their own person. People with a backbone are so hard to find these days and honestly a little bullying teaches people to stand up for themselves. I sure know it taught me to.

    • Ian on March 27, 2014

      Well, some kids are just bigger and stronger than others are. So that’s not always going to cut it.

    • Chantelle on March 28, 2014

      …or you could teach kids not to bully, and teach all children to have confidence in themselves without having to resort to violence. That’s great that you learned to stand up for yourself after being bullied, but that doesn’t mean that the bullying was right in the first place.

  49. me on March 26, 2014

    Tennessee needs to be blown up. Get all the good people out first. There are some nice people there.

  50. Christopher on March 27, 2014

    listen if someone hits me or tries to make me love their “GOD”. i will beat the shit out of them and say “FUCK YOUR GOD”

  51. Anonymous on March 27, 2014

    This bill simply ensures that equal time and opportunity is given to religious and secular occurrences as non-religious ans non-secular. That means equal for everyone. It doesn’t say anything specifically about Christianity, Muslim, Wacko, etc. This also includes agnostic and atheist. Get educated people.

  52. Nina on March 27, 2014

    Is terrorism freedom of speech? No crime or bulling should become a right with the excuse of freedom of believe, or speech. And if a speech is just pure hatred, discrimination or abuse, it should not be allowed in the name of any religion. Poisonous ideas does not contribute for a better society.

  53. Randall on March 27, 2014

    Sounds like they are trying to use freedom of speach, how ever this is a door that they soon wished they kept closed. Next thing you know students in white sheets using religious rights to parade on campus. then the taliban, ect………

  54. Annoymous on March 27, 2014

    To all those who are quoting the Ten Commandments, you should know that there are more that 10 commandments. In fact there are 613


  55. kat on March 27, 2014

    Christianity is not the only religion that teaches about love. Paganism and witchcraft does too. Pick up a damn book people. We not only teach people to love one another but to love our mother earth. If not for our mother we would not be here. Love is universal not just something found in religion. People who are atheists love too. People need to stop with the labeling and just let others live their lives and stop controlling people. We all have a right to be on this earth so why make miserable for others just because u don’t like something.

  56. Jess on March 27, 2014

    Nothing here is going to be accomplished by attacking any specific group, religious or otherwise. Religion is not the problem here, it’s people. No true christian would see the bullying of anyone, no matter who they are, what they are, or how they look, as righteous or justified by God. It’s time to stop seeing situations as them, or us. We are all the people. We have no rights until they are given to us because we are only human. The government can’t give us the right to bully based on our right of freedom of religion because a great deal of bullying is already illegal. Religious practices are not defended when someone’s safety is in danger. Hate crimes can be against anyone for any number of beliefs but that doesn’t make it sound.

    • Anonymous on April 1, 2014

      This is an awesome way of looking at this sort of thing!

  57. Jim Davis on March 27, 2014

    Unbelievable, even for Tennessee…

  58. Allison WV on March 27, 2014

    Any human being who claims Christianity as their religion and takes it upon themselves to bully another person (for ANY REASON) is NOT a real Christian. They are a liar. They are NOT apart of God’s plan. They are not a soldier of God. they are using God’s name in vain. I can’t believe something like this would even be up for discussion. our country is failing and taking several steps backward. That is why we as people have got to start educating our children better. We have to teach them right from wrong!!! This is wrong!

  59. FoodForThought on March 27, 2014

    What’s next ? A bill allowing brothers & sisters to marry ?

  60. Laura on March 27, 2014

    Sigh. I can add TN to the list of states I won’t be spending my tourist dollars in. What an ignorant bunch.

  61. David on March 27, 2014

    Blatantly unconstitutional. It will never stand in the higher courts.

  62. Charles Flores on March 27, 2014

    The United States and Iran SHOULD be friends. They are so chummy chummy on (and against) such matters as the importance of separation of Church from State. Of course we also have fruitcakes like these in Europe, but we do manage to keep them on the sideline.

  63. Ian on March 27, 2014

    Specifically WHAT does “bullying” mean here? . .. telling someone they’re headed 4 Hell? Well no, that isn’t quite the same thing as beating someone up ( like the picture there appears to be depicting ) to be honest.

  64. Adam on March 27, 2014

    One issue – Satanism isn’t recognized legally as a religion. So that part doesn’t work. But yeah, there’s quite a few problems here.

  65. Dakota on March 27, 2014

    They just legalized weed for Rastas…how nice of them.

  66. Bruce on March 27, 2014

    Maybe gay youth should start arming themselves in the name of self defense.

  67. Ricky on March 27, 2014

    Lol at the kneejerk left on this one..theres no bullying or beating anyone up or anything else in this bill…its simply allowing Christians to mention their faith sometimes..no ones going to be allowed to preach during class and the only intolerance shown in these comments is the whining of people so insecure they cant stand to be subjected to a differing opinion…everyone is a sinner, dont be a whiny emotional baby too

  68. Lauren Hayes on March 27, 2014

    I live in Tennessee and this makes me so sick. Im gay and have a lot of gay friends who are in high school. This is crazy….now its ok for them to get the shit beat out of them?!?!? This is outrageous if I knew who to write exactly I would. Things like this are the reason I feel I need to take my life and leave Tennessee. We are never going to be able to lead a normal life here. They passed a law saying our marriage must be recognized. Then pass on that makes it ok for people to bully the youth?!? What the fuck?!? You arent going to change us. The most your going to do is make those teens miserable, because they will just stay in the closet. Don’t do this to these kids.

  69. Leland on March 27, 2014

    Religious war… here we come. PASTAFARIANS!!!! UNITE!!!!!!!!!!!

  70. Ryan on March 27, 2014

    How about I just make up my own religion, write it on a napkin and let’s say my religion tells me I can start killing people who I think are stupid. Is this okay? No. So why should this bill be okay?

  71. Ken on March 27, 2014

    No one has the right to bully another student and claim religious freedom. The state law forbids this. What this law does provide is protection for a student who wears a t-shirt saying ‘merry Christmas’ to school. Nor can you answer ‘God’ to a science question and expect to pass. The author’s is preying upon your fear and contorting the meaning of this bill to outlandish proportion. I am not a religious person. I do not attend religious services of any kind. But I do believe in freedom. The freedom to be gay, religious or both. Articles like this are more often about censorship. That such a strong belief in one group would have you deny rights to another.

  72. Ken on March 27, 2014

    A quick google search has turned up the following states proposing a variation of a ‘religious freedom act’. Not all these pertain to schools but also businesses and individuals. Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas,Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia. I read that Texas passed the law in 2007. I have yet to hear about mass discrimination against the gay community there.

  73. Anonymous on March 27, 2014

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah HahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

  74. Santia on March 27, 2014

    Hey you guys should sign this petition to revoke this bill. We need 100,000 by April 26, 2014. Every one helps

  75. Natalie on March 27, 2014

    I feel like everyone simply loves to blame one group of people. Its easier . But christians didnt make this bill. And this bill doesnt even have the word christian in it. It is in reference to ALL RELIGIONS! So, buddhists, muslims, athiest, everyone! Anyone who has a religion can justify their actions if they can tie it into their “religion”. Thats what this bill says. I am a christian and i dont support this bill. Stop being filled with hate and blaming christians for something that has nothing to do with them! If you get in a car accident are you going to blame christians? No cause they had nothing to do with it and that would be an ignorrant statement. If you disagree with the bill then hate the bill. Dont persicue a group that had nothing to do with it. Smh. And all of you who arent straight and want people to just show you love… practice what you preach. Smh

  76. Victoria on March 27, 2014

    Alright, alright. Everybody calm down. This bill was not passed, nor will it EVER be passed. Despite the idiocy of whatever group made this, the entire world is not ignorant enough to think this is okay.

  77. Anonymous on March 27, 2014

    I promise not everyone in TN is stupid, just our lawmakers.

  78. Pam hunt on March 27, 2014

    REALLY! Come on people…. People of Christian faith are currently required to listen to, accept , and VALIDATE opposing beliefs on a daily basis. If we express our perfectly legitimate opinion, as is our right under the US constitution, is is being called “hate speech”. Where are the people calling the term ” infidel” hate speech? Where is my biologically female child being protected from a biologically male chid who “identifies as as female” in her restroom? I don’t have to judge that child’s mental status to know MY CHILD has an EQUAL right NOT to be exposed to male body parts irregardless of how that child feels. Your “rights” STOP at the line where they VIOLATE mine!!

    • fefairy pixies on March 28, 2014

      you know, if your child sees another kid’s genitals in the bathroom, you probably need to have a little talk with them.

    • Chantelle on March 28, 2014

      Yeah, I’m not sure how many female restrooms you’ve been in lately, but we have stalls that ensure our privacy. A trans girl is not going to be flashing her genitals in front of your cissexual girl. If your girl is seeing other girls’ genitals in the restroom, be they cisor trans, then fefairy pixies is right: you need to talk to them about not violating the privacy of other children when they’re in the restroom.

  79. No Name on March 27, 2014

    Everyone is all up in arms about this being anti-gay, and just like the Arizona law that was up a few weeks ago, there’s nothing anti-gay about any of it. Period. All it does is prevent studets from being told that they can’t have any religious activities at school. And the author of this article made up loads of stuff just to tick everyone off. And for those of you who are ticked off, congratulations. You were duped. Here is the law, as it is written. You will see no permission to bully anyone, or push a religion onto someone else. http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/billinfo/BillSummaryArchive.aspx?BillNumber=HB1547&ga=108

    • Josh Kilcoyne on March 29, 2014

      i think you’re like… the third person on this thread who figured that out. congrats. nice wording, too.

  80. Anonymous on March 28, 2014

    yeah..give it a break…. it’s not that sensualized.. stop blowing things out of portion…freakin drama queens (no pun intended)..Its the other way around…. to stop the lgbt community from forcing their lifestyle down Tennesseans throats..#heteropride

    • fefairy pixies on March 28, 2014

      sure- i’ll stop being so flamboyantly homosexual when you stop treating queers like some doll you can shape and form into your definition and decide whether or not they’re “forcing their lifestyle down Tennesseans throats..” we’ll stop forcing our “lifestlye” down your throats the moment you stop forcing oppression down our’s.

      it’s a win win.

  81. Michael Ejercito on March 28, 2014

    The bill does not impose any religious viewpoint because it does not give teachers authority to preach.

  82. Anonymous on March 28, 2014

    Separation of church and state *cough cough*

  83. John on March 28, 2014


  84. Alesha on March 28, 2014

    When Jesus gave himself on the cross, he Fulfilled the old law.. because he knew we couldn’t live without sin.. love one another is in fact a commandment.. below are listed several scriptures from the King James Bible: 1John 4:7 , Proverbs 10:12, John 13: 34-35 This one speaks of the New Commandment being LOVE.. JOHN 15:12, ROMANS 13: 8-10, LEVITICUS19:17 GOD BLESS YOU ALL♥

  85. NO NAME 03 on March 28, 2014

    Well all this verbiage over just the LGBT’s…it’s sad to see gays subject to examples in legislation. If any ill-intent was meant by the writing of the law; then be it on those who wrote, voted, and passed it as a law. I think it’s high time that laws that are passed by states (or even Congress) that have Constitutional problems/issues on the get go (such as this law) require that those “elite” minded statesmen should foot the whole judicial cost of defending it. The education deficit and meal programs would be paid off for ten plus years by the time SCOTUS renders a verdict. The U.S. Constitution is one of the quickest reads and any moron with any sense would see many contradictions (most importantly that states can make no law that violates the U.S. Constitution, but other apply). Again this is another law that is unnecessary; it does nothing but raise a person’s beliefs above an others with validation. Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from religious persecution, etc are covered by that central Federal document. Every lawmaker (both federal and state must swear to uphold the U.S. Constitution first (and for the states then theirs applies). So I see all these laws popping up everywhere a major drain on our economy. My mother used to say that her mother taught her it was wrong to sue someone as Biblical belief, and I understand now why she felt that way. If a man makes harm upon another man (say an automobile crash); the teachings of Christ would be to honor up to your own fault and go accordingly with love. Agree or disagree with that; it doesn’t matter to me. It’s my belief. Guess what? The U.S. Constitution protects my right to express it as well the laws (U.S. Code) of the United States protects the right to lay claim for suit. Funny thing… Lastly, it is not the Constitution that this law violates on a federal level; there are many laws such as the Civil Right Act, The American’s with Disabilities Act, The Hate Crimes Law, the use of federal funds (i.e. public school funding) for use to violate another’s Civil Rights and religious beliefs, and most importantly this law violates U.S. Educational Standards (as lastly passed by Pres. George W. Bush) which overseas the accreditation of America’s public schools to maintain an equal standard for education. So Billy may answer that God made water on a test in a classroom and so he’ll get an A in that class. But there is only multiple choice questions on our standardized tests with one right answer (as well as it is with the SAT, GRE, etc.) and that right answer is one part hydrogen and two parts oxygen. So poor Billy may get great God-wise grades (and a good GPA); he may even be out for a full scholarship at Ohio State. Once the SAT is added, Billy is no longer eligible to attend Ohio State; however, gosh darn tut-in’ he does qualify for Tennessee State (but no scholarship. Bobby in Illinois got that TSU scholarship since his education was not directed by his own beliefs; he has a 3.8 GPA; and scored high on the SATs.

    So basically, let TN shoot themselves in the foot and allow their educational system to be unequal on these grounds. In the end, you see Billy will have the right to sue the state for allowing him to answer God instead of H20.

    See the blind see more than those who have sight. Creating any law that seeks to protect a majority before/over ANY minority clearly has an urgency to it. Like when one applies the breaks when they realize they are driving too fast and the road is slick with ice; disaster strikes and what you wanted to prevent you eventually make your doom. Urgency isn’t an action of being wise and with foresight; foresight is a wise-man’s patience pace forward always with clear knowledge of what was before and is now. What is to be follows after that order.

  86. Callum on March 28, 2014

    This is absolutely disgusting! it’s facism that’s what it is, deliberately hurting people just because some magical made up pink pixie won’t like it. How come in this “modern Age” when there’s meant to be equality we get bigots like this who make it law to bully people in view of their sexuality. That would never happen here in the UK, the bishop of Carlisle has proven how unpopular religious bigotry is

  87. Jinx on March 28, 2014

    Things like this make me ashamed to be a christian.
    Bullying is one of the many reasons children and teens self harm and commit suicide. ALL bullying is wrong. No matter what shape or form it’s in. This is horrible! It’s basically giving religious people the right to bully and abuse their fellow students if they don’t believe in what they believe in.

    This isn’t religious freedom. This is discrimination.

    • Ethan Williams on April 1, 2014

      I would never say that I am ashamed to be Christian just because of this sort of thing, I would however say that I am ashamed of the way the Church has treated LGBT’s. That is what is truly shameful.

  88. Anonymous on March 28, 2014

    People who do things like this in the name of the Christian or Catholic religion obviously don’t know the true meaning of being a person of faith. God never wanted us to hate anyone no matter who they love, we are all supposed to love each other, not verbally or physically harass people.

  89. fefairy pixies on March 28, 2014

    pfft, as if i didn’t face enough bullshit already. now it’s legal.

  90. Lyle on March 28, 2014

    There are good points to the bill and ugly points . After it gets in the hands of hidden public view there will be trouble in every sort . Parents teaching hatred of anyone who do not share their beliefs to the point of harming others both psychological and physical damage . We all know what these people are attempting to do ,teach their children to hate . Next they will be wearing white hoods and big Red Cross dancing around a burning cross . Republicans have become a different thing as my father life long republican discovered about the new Republican . There was another extreme consertive groupe headed by a man that destroyed Germany reputation by attempting to take over the planet . They were very much minded like today’s extreme conservitaves . Don’t get me wrong the old republican groups are still out there . Same goes for the Democrats the extreme tax and spend to a point they tax you to death ( Obama care ) and spend us into forever debt . What happened to us ? Schools are common ground , nutral ground no religion shar reign over another nor shal it be a place to attack any other person be they straight , gay or any place between . If you want your child programmed to your own belief then pay to put them in a private school to your taste . Public school is for all beliefs . I’m ashamed of this country as in my 50 years of living here the last 14 years I’ve watched our country turn inward on its self . The media is happy to help you believe what the authorities want you to believe or hear . Veto this bill ! It’s unconstutional in public schools .

  91. Anonymous on March 28, 2014

    Oh, hey. Sharia law can now be the law of the land in Tennessee.

  92. Anonymous on March 29, 2014

    Wow I can’t believe they are actually getting away with this, it’s plain awful!

  93. Anonymous on March 29, 2014

    That’s not religious freedom that’s just being an asshole

  94. Rick on March 29, 2014

    I dare say Campfield has a hand in this one. It sounds like something right up his alley. The Tennessee GOP is bound and determined to make Tennessee the haven for the religious right wing extremist lunatics. If they are not stopped, The American Taliban will completely take over this ass-backward state.

  95. Eren on March 31, 2014

    I have no problem with people expressing their religion or anything, but this bill is absolute bullshit. No matter what you believe in, it is NOT an excuse for bigotry and bullying. Are these people saying that because you believe in a God, you can harm others for being different? Didn’t God say to love one another, that every man is created equal? “People shouldn’t get special treatment just because they’re of a different sexuality”, you say? They wouldn’t, if you didn’t go out of your way to make their lives difficult in the first place! I am not going to assume that every single Christian is prejudiced against the LGBT community like this, but your religion sure is full of assholes.

  96. Ethan Williams on April 1, 2014

    As an evangelical Christian and a person that believes the freedom to express ones beliefs or religion if you so chose to call it this, I hate this bill. When people say that gay people go to hell (which is quite often banded around within the Christian church) they are forgetting one hugely important face. Straight people go to hell too.. To say that a person is going to hell because they are gay or lesbian is an outright lie. It is the unredeemed that don’t go to heaven. God doesn’t go to a gay person or a straight person and say “Don’t do this, don’t live this way” he says “stop resisting me”. The problem with bills like this is that the popular (for lack of a better term) will subject those who aren’t in a ‘position of honour’ to their beliefs and though they may think that their beliefs are the one true way to God that doesn’t mean those who don’t want to should have to be forced to listening. The sad fact is that people often seem to overlook the fact that God loves everyone. He doesn’t care if you are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Marxist, Atheist; He loves you if you are red, brown, yellow, black or white, you are precious in His sight. Lesbian, gay, straight, trans, none of these things make God love you any less but the fact is that this bill will be used to make some kids feel like crap and as a Christian that hurts me.

    To be Christian means to be Christ Like which takes us back to the derivative of the word Χριστιανός (Christianos) meaning literally “follower of Christ.” Jesus never treated anyone the way that some Christians treat the LGBT community but at the same time the LGBT community is often very harsh back to the Christian community (and understandably so). As a christian and a theological student I really struggle with things when people say things like “EVENTUALLY ALL OF THESE RELIGIOUS FREAKS WILL MOVE THERE. THEY’LL PROBABLY ENACT LAWS THAT ALL PRIEST TO RAPE YOUNG BOYS, YOU KNOW TRULY ‘RELIGOUS FREEDOM’. WE’LL BUILD A WATERPROOF WALL AROUND THEM, THEN FILL IT…” The fact is that though neither community treats the other the way Christ would have treated them we are all human and have the same humanity and all deserve to be treated with the love and respect inherent with being a child of God (in the purest sense, I don’t mean as in a Christian or religious person).

    Though I understand the LGBT communities outrage at the general Christian population over this sort of thing when comments like “religion is brainwashing” and dear I say it like the last comment I mentioned “EVENTUALLY ALL OF THESE RELIGIOUS FREAKS WILL MOVE THERE. THEY’LL PROBABLY ENACT LAWS THAT ALL PRIEST TO RAPE YOUNG BOYS, YOU KNOW TRULY ‘RELIGOUS FREEDOM’. WE’LL BUILD A WATERPROOF WALL AROUND THEM, THEN FILL IT” then you have to remember that this is the same sort of discrimination that LGBT community hates to receive from the Christians. It is LGBT treating people that are ‘different’ badly because they don’t agree.

    No one is trying to say that the Church has treated the LGBT community with the love and respect that they deserve but the fact is that two wrongs don’t make it right. God’s love isn’t dependant on ones sexuality…

  97. Cheyenne on April 2, 2014

    The US was found to escape religious pressure. This is absolute bullshit!
    This is the obvious stereotypical southerner thing to do. NO ONE deserves to be bullied. It is the worst thing to experience. Especially when it gets to the point where they become depressed and start self harming, then suicidal.

    I don’t know who the fuck ever considered this a good idea because is pathetic, homophobic, religious bullshit, and completely stupid.

    If this is also ‘patriotic’, get a life. Remember “all men were created equal”.

  98. Anonymous on April 2, 2014

    This is just sickening.

  99. Anonymous on April 4, 2014


  100. Anonymous on April 4, 2014

    So everyone that opposes this from Tennessee is going to get out and vote for someone else that did pass this Bill, right? It seems the House and Senate needs a major cleaning-out; get to Volunteers!

  101. Carla Cano on April 4, 2014

    Ok I am not sure I am getting this right because it looks like a lot of people are saying some topics shouldnt be discussed in school.

    If a student is given an assignment they should be able to write about what they want to as long as it is in the perimeters of the assignment. This is how critical thinking is taught. Today people are taught not to discuss anything that might be difficult or politically incorrect.

    We all need to get over it. If we can’t have conflicting discussions on all types of topics then growth will cease. We need to be fostering critical thinking not shutting it down. I may not agree with everything around me but I, we, should be tolerant of others viewpoints.

    If you don’t agree, strongly, passionately, then sometimes you have to step back, think critically and then state your opinion with RESPECT toward another human being, even if it is hard to do so. That will get your point across much more efficiently than shouting, name calling, and hatred.

  102. Anonymous on April 7, 2014

    how about catholic religoins to

  103. Mick on April 10, 2014

    The description of the bill is nonsense. It allows no such thing, and anyone who believes this is either a rube or a demagogue. People, don’t allow websites like this to lie to you and mischaracterize things in order to get your support or comments.

    Turn your anger towards those who would try to deceive you.

    • Craig on April 17, 2014

      Well said… and for that matter, are people afraid that hearing something they disagree with with automatically brainwash them?

  104. Anonymous on April 14, 2014


  105. Craig on April 17, 2014

    Forgive me, but… most of you are blowing this out of proportion:

    “A student could also stand in class and say their religion says that gay people are sinners and going to hell, and that speech would be legally protected.” That speech is already protected… by the 1st ammendment. Now, if they said “… and I’m going to send you to hell..” that would not be protected.

    “An evangelical student, or example, could preach the gospel during a science class, or “witness” during English.” Only if the teacher allows it. Students don’t teach the classes.

    “The bill, of course, likely violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution,” If it does, it will get shot down… we have checks and balances in our government.

    We have free speech in America. I doubt any of you have read this bill, and I have not either, but what I do know of it doesn’t not say that students “would likely routinely be required to listen to religious messages or participate in religious exercises that conflict with their own beliefs,” the ACLU adds.” Required? really? And since when was listening to something that differed from your own beliefs a bad idea? It is how we learn and grow, it spurs contemplation and thought. Thales rejected polytheism and some people actually started listening to him, and they THOUGHT about what they heard.

    The level of vulgarity in the speech here is offensive to me. Can you folks not express yourselves without the profanity?

    Speech should be protected. Threats should not. Lighten up people, you are taking this way too far.

  106. jason turner on April 23, 2014

    why cant we just be friends? religion gives us reassurance. and love is love no matter who its with. i don’t know many if any religions that go against who you love. and religion and freedom of love are both important just don’t force on on the other

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  108. Judi on April 30, 2014

    I am a Christian. I am also an American. I do believe we all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. if a person is happy worshiping God, let them be. If they are happy worshiping another god or gods let them. Religion should never be pushed down someone’s throat. I would rather have someone say they can tell I am a Christian because I show it in my walk and the way I treat others as Jesus treated those around Him. I don’t need to be praying aloud to “show something”. God hears my prayer even when it is in my heart. This bullying others in the name of religion…now that I am totally against. And when you pick on kids because of their beliefs I believe society is wrong. I cannot get over how so many people in the government voted for this ridiculous bill. I am praying for the kids in the state for their safety. I am praying that Christians show love and not hate. This is not what I have been taught. To say someone is going to hell because of doing this or that is not for us to judge. God did not die and tell me that I can now take over and judge people. I don’t care what color they are, what religion they are, or what sexuality preference they are. What they do is between God and them…not God, them and me. We are all brothers and sisters. Let’s act like it. Now for the terrorists??? That is a different story. No one should kill others. No one should bully others. We are even taught Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I know I don’t want someone to bully me because I am a Christian. I am now off my soap box. Thank you for letting me have my say. Let us love one another as so we have been loved.

  109. sorou on May 6, 2014

    I don’t mind religious freedom. But you can be almost certain that this bill will be abused, and people will use it’s right to promote religious-fueled hate speech. Many LGBT youths barely have rights as it is in places like Tennessee. This is just going to make it worse.

  110. Rayn Roberts on May 15, 2014

    Keep religion out of public schools! “If you want to talk about your religious beliefs go to a bible study or your church. No need to plague our public schools with such nonsense.”

  111. Daniel Reavis on May 23, 2014

    Well i say let the gay kids take kick boxing or self defense classes and see the looks on the bullies faces when THEY get THEIR ass kicked by a gay person! I was bullied all through grade school, I got tired of it and started fighting back. It didn’t take them long to realize if they messed with me OR my friends they would get hurt, not a matter of IF but of how bad! By 10th grade if someone messed with you all you had to say was you where my friend and they would back off! So don’t teach your gay kids to fight but to defend themselves! No one deserves to be bullied!

  112. Bruce Arnold on May 23, 2014

    By rights then a Muslim radical can invoke this law and behead your lame pretend Christian butt in the name of Sharia justice and jihad, and it would be just fine. Take the law to it’s extreme and you can see how wrong it really is. Those who do not understand how wrong it is deserve no freedom and should have no rights. This is the kind of behavior that pushes an authoritarian state into existence, we deserve it if we act so irresponsibly.

  113. Todd on September 9, 2014

    Hey while everyone’s bitching about rights and what not that you still haven’t realized you have no control over it or anything in America an I’m over here like I Love BACON!!!!

  114. Mark on September 12, 2014

    Has anyone actually read the bill? Nowhere in the 10 pages does it say anything about harassing or threatening gay students.

    Someone point out the exact phrase or clause that allows harassment or discrimination

  115. Julie Merritt on September 12, 2014

    Tennessee is wrong in doing this. God doesn’t approve. Christ doesn’t approve, he expects followers to reach out in love and witness to others.

  116. Ken on September 15, 2014

    Im originally a TN native. Im a gay man like most of you and I am with you guys 100 percent on this trust me I am. But I have a question and I would like all of you to think long and hard about this because I know I have. I grew up in the 80s and the 90s when it wasnt easy to be gay in school and if you were homosexual you had to keep it to yourself. Society has changed. The state that you currently are living in and the people that live there (with exception to Rhea county and whitwell and perhaps other backwoods areas) have progressed in the past decades. You guys are bantering and bickering over a bill that means nothing to the society of the residents that are living there now. I moved to Portland. (Lord I miss that place and I miss Chattanooga) Then I moved to Montana. Folks let me tell you something. You think you have it rough in TN? Its 1970 up here. These people are ULTRA right wing gun toting conservatives. They dont like gays, blacks, change, strangers, advice or nothing. And you people are bickering over this? I would give ANYTHING in this world to be in TN with the state constitution and their politics because this state is so red it aint even funny. They have the Ten Commandments on every corner on every red light and stop sign and they think theres a war on Christians and family values going on up here yall need to stop all this mess and take some big girl pills and pull some big girl panties and get over this. The constitution wont allow this mess to pass. The supreme court wouldnt even allow it its unconstitutional. So stop all this. Good grief so what? Its a measly bill instead of arguing go out and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT… be proactive. And by the way im not kidding about Montana ill trade places yall can have this if you think its so rough down there ill gladly come back home

  117. P Green on December 29, 2014

    The Republicans who are the ruling party here in Tennessee have made many like me eager to leave this state.

  118. Willem on March 1, 2015

    Times are hard. It’s been getting more and more difficult to make a living, let alone have anything left to set aside. It seems to me the extreme right leaning folks are trying to drag this country back to a time they’ve idealized…we should all be living Ozzie and Harriet, Leave It To Beaver lives. Dad worked, and was able to provide for his family. Mom stayed at home and raised the kids. Everyone in the neighborhood went to the same church. Black people and Jews didn’t show up anywhere, so there was nothing but white, middle class America to deal with. Ah, the good old days.
    As technology has grown, and awareness of people and places outside the world we grew up in grows, the world has gotten awfully damned scary for a lot of folks; particularly straight, white men who have run everything for a very damn long time. Now that folks who aren’t like them are realizing that they should have some rights, some protections, the old guard is realizing how easy it would be to lose control of all they have enjoyed for centuries. Shit like this is their push-back. Simply because they still enjoy (dwindling) seats of power. Organized religion is not for me. I prefer the option to walk away from group-think. I have, and enjoy, the ability to experience the world and process it on my own. The number of freethinkers is growing, I believe, and that scares the living shit out of the conservative right. I have no beef with people who hold their gods and religions near and dear. We all need to find ways to get through life…if religion and god works for you, more power to you. We don’t all have the same needs, do we?
    i do think that with the government funding schools, religion should be kept out of it. All religions, not just christianity. If religious training for your children is important to you, by all means, send them to a religious school. Last I heard, most religious still practiced tithing, and that’s 10% of your income every week. Surely that money would pay for a nice religious education for your children.
    I see bills like this to be last ditch attempts to hold onto a waning power base. I’m certain it’ll be challenged in court. I’m pretty sure it’ll either be struck down or modified. I don’t know of a way that you can teach compassion. That would require taking yourself, and your children, out to places where folks are having a seriously hard go of it. Definitely harder than getting grounded from your iphone. People don’t seem willing to offer a helping hand, anymore. That’s sad. It doesn’t seem that many folks understand what it is to be a good neighbor anymore, let alone a good human.
    One last point, I’d like to offer up. The reason men like this are able to write bills like this is that the more liberal members of our society have taken a long ass lunch break. Bills like this won’t see the light of day if we all get off our collective asses and vote. While there won’t be big changes in DC immediately, getting out and voting for the small, local things matters….career politicians are on a specific track to get themselves to national office. It begins with school boards, aldermen, city council and goes up from there. If we will take the time to skip the latest movie or miss an episode of Orange Is The New Black to attend school board meetings and figure out what the people who are running for office are about, crap like this can be nipped in the bud. We need to be willing to get off our asses, though. The conservative base votes…boy, don’t they vote. The rest of us are really content with the bit of forward momentum we’ve gained and just sit back. That’s why we got shit hammered in the midterm elections. Don’t just go out and vote yourself…help other marginalized folks get around the restrictive voter ID laws, help some people get registered to vote. We can all make a bigger difference on the local scene, thereby changing the landscape of national politics.
    *stepping off the soapbox*