Last edited: February 14, 2005

Bill Would Ban Discussion of Gays

Richmond Times-Dispatch, February 8, 2002
Box 85333, Richmond, VA, 23293-0001
Fax: 804-775-8072 or 775-8090

If you’re gay, some state lawmakers don’t want you to talk about it in class.

Discussions about homosexuality—even at gay-straight alliance meetings run by students—would be prohibited.

And school boards’ hands would be tied, should a bill moving smoothly through the General Assembly win Senate approval.

House Bill 88 forces Virginia school boards to "develop policies prohibiting presentations, classroom discussions, school-sponsored assemblies and student meetings" that deal with sodomy and other "crimes against nature."

The bill passed Monday in the House by a vote of 83-16.

Now, local activists are gearing up for a fight as the bill heads to the Senate.

Patty Smith of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) of Richmond, said she’s concerned the bill would curtail effective HIV and AIDS education.

Representatives of local gay organizations and the Virginia Education Association say the bill goes too far in limiting teachers and school boards.

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