Don’t Say Gay

A bill has been proposed by Republicans in the Missouri General Assembly, which states that sexual orientation will not be spoken about in schools. The bill, HB 2051, is now being referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

The bill states that it will “prohibit the discussion of sexual orientation in public school instruction, material, or extracurricular activity except in scientific instruction on human reproduction.” The bill would effectively enact the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” initiative in our schools.

Rep. Steve Cookson, R-District 153, who introduced HB2051, said schools should focus solely on core education issues and should leave topics “better left for discussion in the home at the discretion of parents” alone.

The bill has struck a chord on both sides of the issue, to the point that one legislator, Rep. Zach Wyatt, came out publicly to oppose the bill. Wyatt announced that he was gay during a speech and said he was fed up with the “bigotry on gay issues from both sides of the aisle” and that it was time to step up and lead on this issue.

“This bill is just simply wrong.” Wyatt said.

One thing that worries me about this bill is that homosexual teens, under this bill, may feel more lost and helpless than before. They already struggle with the emotions of being a kid or teenager, which every adult can remember. Add in to the equation homosexuality, and the confusion and self-hatred, mixed with the bullying and teasing, it’s amazing to me that they even try to put up with people.

This bill not only is discriminatory, it makes Missouri look bad, like we are so afraid and hateful of the homosexual community that we have to outlaw speaking about it. In truth, all it would do is pass on the idea to our children that being gay is wrong, and I don’t think we can apply qualitative terms to sexuality. It’s not right or wrong, it just is what it is.

We live in the United States of America, where equality and freedom is our right. Whether you support or oppose gay rights, you must agree that everyone deserves equality, regardless of race, religion, or sexuality. We have no right to say what is right or wrong. The government is FOR THE PEOPLE,  which means WE TELL THE GOVERNMENT WHAT TO DO, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

Many people oppose gay marriage, saying marriage can only exist between a man and a woman. Marriage, as I understand it, is the union between two people, joining together for life (unless divorce comes into play, anyway). Marriage is a term I have always applied with religion, as every wedding I have been to has been in a church. Now, obviously the Church will not approve of same sex marriage, but many people get married through the State. We have no power to change Church doctrine, but we can amend the laws to allow for a same sex civil union, in theory allowing the LGBT to be together in a legally binding way, recognized by our government. I think this would be a fair solution, giving the LGBT community the chance to wed, without imposing on the religious beliefs of others, especially since we have a separation of Church and State.

As a Missourian, I would like to see our legislators focus on the issues that affect EVERYONE, like taxes, job creation, road restoration, etc. This is a complete waste of taxpayer’s time, and deserves no further talk on the matter. Let the bill die and never speak of it again.

As Americans, we have an image to uphold, and a duty as not only citizens, but good people, to make this world better than what it is. Fight injustice, stand up for the helpless, and do the right thing. This is what America is supposed to be, so take the right steps to make it so.

To pass this bill is to discriminate against homosexuals. I thought that perhaps we could move past that, but it seems I may be wrong. I love my home, my state. Do not give me a reason to be ashamed of Missouri. Instead, let’s take the next step forward, and show that we are proud Missourians, good and strong people, accepting of all life.

Update: According to the Huffington Post, North Carolina has officially banned gay marriage.


About Benjamin D. Peters

Ben is a reporter for The Missouri Times. Missouri State University alum, degree in media. View all posts by Benjamin D. Peters

2 responses to “Don’t Say Gay

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