Tennessee Legislates Against 'Gateway Sex'

This would be hilarious if it wasn't going to lead to more sexual oppression and unwanted pregnancies.

The Tennessee Legislature on Friday sent a bill to Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk that, according to the Tennessean, would require sex-ed classes to “exclusively and emphatically” promote abstinence and ban teachers and outside groups from promoting “gateway sexual activity.”

The bill defines “gateway sexual activity” as: “sexual conduct encouraging an individual to engage in a non-abstinent behavior.” The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Jim Gotto, said the bill wouldn’t address things as innocuous as holding hands, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. But critics of the legislation say the offending behavior is not clearly defined. Gotto did not immediately return TPM’s request for comment.

So it could be anything. Which is so incredibly dangerous.

  • Zen Diesel

    I can see how this help Tenn. create jobs….lol. What a bunch of buffoons, don’t they have some more pressing issues to fix.

  • 1933john

    How would one know what to abstain from?

  • Stephen LaRose

    Hey, I met people from The Gateway at a Canadian student newspaper conference … well, it was a longer time than I care to remember. But they were nice people. I mean I wasn’t interested in them sexually, but ….

    But why would Tennessee legislators care about anyone having sex, let alone University of Alberta aspiring journalists? I thought Republicans were against big government …

  • gescove

    Jack and Jill are sittin’ by the tree,
    Banned from K-I-S-S-I-N-G,
    First comes love,
    Then comes unprotected sex,
    Then an unintended pregnancy,
    (How’d that happen, Jack? I don’t know, Jill!),
    Then come Republicans saying “You are on your own, slut.”

    Isn’t that how the schoolyard rhyme goes?

    • scifritz

      I am sure you can work “the pill” in there somehow!!

  • scifritz

    Eureka!! They have finally found their way to ban the SI swimsuit issue pictures from being hung in boys lockers!

  • Sean Richardson

    Why not just ban the sex-ed classes? I mean, I’m not for that, but if you’re completely against the idea of educating about sex, and you think it should be left to the parents, that’s fine. That’s almost a reasonable position — certainly far, far closer than allowing parents to believe that there is a class where the child will receive some form of education about sex and then not allowing the class to teach anything about sex. That’s actually worse, because we all know that parents don’t want to talk to kids about these things, so they see the kid’s schedule has “Sex Ed” and figure, “Great, that’s covered.”

  • Brutlyhonest

    Does this mean all those woody-pill commercials are going off the air in TN?

    Everyone know that if you don’t teach kids about safe sex/birth control they won’t hump every chance they get. Hormones stay in their cages until those evil liberals teach you about them.

    Anything in this bill about wimmins wearing full length, long sleeve dresses and head coverings so as to not tempt the poor boys?

    • IrishGrrrl

      Hey, you joke…but I keep expecting Evangelicals to create their own “burqa” and legislate covering our ‘sinful bodies’ any day now.

      • Brutlyhonest

        In addition to the “radical” muslims, some christian and jewish sects already require the described outfit.

        Religious extremists are so alike it’s scary. Too bad they can’t see it.

  • Razor

    “You won’t get any dancing here, it’s illegal. “

  • G Thomas

    Republicans draft bill to ban dating and kissing. No, seriously they did. Any undefined “gateway” activity that could lead to sex. I know, for most Republicans this would ban shaking your foot into the next bathroom stall but it would also ban dating and kissing.

  • Al Iriberri

    So if the cinematic equivalent for anti-dancing legislation resulted in Footloose what will the associated movie for this be called?

    • Bubble Genius


      • Al Iriberri

        Set….spike. Nicely played. :D

  • Ryan Carson

    “But critics of the legislation say the offending behavior is not clearly defined.”

    Gotta love the media. How about: “But history shows that this kind of legislation is fucking stupid and dangerous.”

    These people are so loathsome.

  • Charm Smith

    Welcome to the Republic of Gilead, people. Or at least welcome to that “no dancing” town from Footloose.

    • Gayle Stamler

      I was kind of thinking that they want to turn the whole state into Bob Jones University.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    “sexual conduct encouraging an individual to engage in a non-abstinent behavior.”

    Oh, the caselaw that’s going to come out of this legislation is going to be hilarious. I can’t wait to read how the judges in Tennessee define “sexual conduct,” “encouraging,” “engage” and “non-abstinent.” Hypothetically, smiling at a person could count.

    This is so galactically stupid I can’t even bother to try explaining why. All I’ll say is, nothing good can come from telling teachers what they can’t say.

  • bphoon

    The idea that if we educate kids as to what sex is, how it’s practiced and, most importantly, what its potential consequences are it’ll somehow communicate to them that it’s OK to go ahead and fuck like minks has been around since at least the ’50s. Generation after generation has fooled themselves into thinking that if kids are kept ignorant they’ll stop having sex. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ignorance won’t stop hormones from raging and won’t stop kids from having sex. Never has, never will.

    Responsible studies have produced reliable statistics over and over that conclusively prove that when enlightened sex education is provided the teen pregnancy rate and the incidence of STD transmission among teens both drop. Experience has shown over the last 30-40 years that, overall, we can trust our kids with knowledge that enables them to make responsible choices as to what to do with their bodies.

    The only difference between an educated kid having sex and an uneducated kid having sex (as they both inevitably will) is that the educated kid typically goes into it with her eyes wide open and is equipped to take some precautions and the uneducated kid is exploring some mystery guided only by old wive’s tales. Ignorance isn’t bliss and what you don’t know can most certainly hurt you.

    • Claude Weaver

      The really craaazzyyee part of this? They are ignoring a basic fact about human nature: we don’t really need to be taught how to have sex. We pretty much figure it out, and damn quickly. As soon as the hormones hit, we start sticking appendages into holes until something feels right, then maybe a baby comes out. If we couldn’t hump around without instruction, the whole damn species wouldn’t exist.

      Even if you argue “Well, that is science, and they don’t believe in that,” even the Bible explicitly acknowledges that humans know how to screw by default, and will screw as soon as they are able.

      So, these yahoos are impotently (heh) raging against something that, by any measure, can never and will never be prevented.

      It is just. SO. STUPID.

  • Lazarus Durden

    Yeah the TN State Legislature is completely insane. Living in East TN I see first hand the change that comes over people when you discuss political issues, especially President Obama. This isn’t surprising.

    TN has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy, poverty, domestic assault, you name it we got it. It’s the GOP dream state of minimal government and no help.

    Any of you remember the voter who named his baby McCain Palin back in 08? Yeah he was from Elizabethton, TN which is 15 minutes from my house. That’s the area I live in. Joy.

    • agrazingmoose

      You have my sincere sympathy.

  • Miranda

    “gateway sexual activity” – wait, so how are the kids supposed to learn and the teachers supposed to teach if they can’t see and hear and talk?

    • Bob Rutledge

      I do believe you’ve touched upon the desired outcome… no teaching and, most of all, no learning.

      The uneducated are, after all, much more easily controlled.