"Modern Family" may have many fans, including President Obama, but Representative Joey Hensley says children should not be allowed to watch.
A vote in Tennessee's House of Representatives led to passage of a bill known as "Don't Say Gay," which would prevent teachers from using the word homosexual or gay as part of their lessons about reproduction.
The bill, proposed by Senator Stacey Campfield was introduced to promote "natural human reproduction science."
Educators would not be allowed to discuss homosexuality or deviate from Christian teachings. Before members of the House's subcommittee voted, the Nashville Scene reported, "A Nashville preacher testified [that] children might find out about gay people by seeing the show ("Modern Family") even if teachers aren't allowed to say gay in schools."
Representative Joey Hensley, chairman of the subcommittee added, "I don't think 'Modern Family' is appropriate for children to watch." He has been in office since 2003 and currently serves as the chair of the House General Sub-committee of Education, which is why he is helping push through this particular bill.
For his part, "Modern Family" creator Steve Levitan has responded to the bill. "Thanks for the shout-out, backwards Tennessee lawmakers," he said.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, one-half of the show's homosexual couple, has also taken to Twitter to offer response. "Kudos to the majority in Tennessee who realize 'Don't Say Gay' is laughably ridiculous!"
Yet, Senator Campfield and Representative Bill Dun have explained that this bill will "keep us in line with current curriculum. This bill, if amended, does not prohibit the use of the word 'gay,' it does not change the anti-bullying statute, and it does not prohibit a school guidance counselor from discussing the issues of sexuality with a student."
The bill has bipartisan support and is primed to pass when put to a full Congressional vote.
Representative John DeBerry spoke passionately about the importance of the bill.
"The basic right as an American is my right to liberty and my right to the pursuit of happiness. Within that includes being able to run my home, raise my children as I see fit, and to indoctrinate them as I see fit," said DeBerry.