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Pride flags will be largely BANNED in classrooms across Tennessee as Democrats scream out in the state House when GOP vote through the law

The Republican-led Tennessee House has passed a bill that would ban the display of pride flags in classrooms.

The House of Representatives passed the bill on a 70-24 vote on Monday, sending the legislation to the Senate, where a final vote could take place as early as this week.

Known as House Bill 1605, it states that schools “shall not display any flag other than the flag of the United States and the official state flag of Tennessee on or in any public school.”

A heated debate over the legislation was broken up by Republicans, prompting Democratic Rep. Justin Jones to shout that House Speaker Cameron Sexton was out of sorts and ignoring people’s requests to speak.

Republicans in turn scolded Jones by voting him out of order, halting his immediate comments.

The Republican-led Tennessee House has passed a bill that would ban the display of pride flags in classrooms. Speaker of the House of Representatives Cameron Sexton walks past protesters

Known as House Bill 1605, which states that schools

Known as House Bill 1605, which states that schools “shall display no flag other than the flag of the United States and the official state flag of Tennessee on or in a public school.”

Republicans shut down a heated debate, prompting Democratic Rep. Justin Jones (pictured) to shout that House Speaker Cameron Sexton was out of order

Republicans shut down a heated debate, prompting Democratic Rep. Justin Jones (pictured) to shout that House Speaker Cameron Sexton was out of order

Previously, at least two people who opposed the bill were kicked out of the chamber for speaking up about the procedure, while Democrats and other opponents blasted the legislation as an unfair restriction on an important symbol of the LGBTQ+ community in schools.

According to The TennesseanThe bill, sponsored by Rep. Gino Bulso, would ban the display of flags that “represent a political viewpoint, including but not limited to a partisan, racial, sexual orientation, gender or other ideological viewpoint.”

Bulso said parents have approached him with complaints about “political flags” in classrooms.

“Do parents have the right to teach their own children values ​​they agree with?” Bulso said during Monday’s vote.

“If you have parents across the state who want to teach their children the values ​​represented by the pride flag, they certainly have the right to do so. On the other hand, if you have parents who want to teach their children values ​​that are inconsistent with the values ​​represented by the pride flag, then they have the ability to do that.”

“What this bill does is it maintains tolerance across the board for all parents and all schoolchildren,” he said.

He said the bill’s exceptions could be applied to Confederate flags for approved curriculum and certain historical items that already cannot be removed without extensive state approval.

Approved flags include the flags of the United States and Tennessee and flags considered protected historic objects under state law.

Flags of Native American tribes, local government forces and prisoners of war or missing in action, other countries and their local governments, colleges or universities or flags of the schools themselves are approved.

Opponents of the bill said it discriminates against members of the LGBTQ community.

Representative Jason Powell said, “I oppose this bill. I think it’s a terrible idea. Right now, this bill focuses on students.”

Rep. Gino Bulso, R-Brentwood, presents a bill on the House floor that would prevent Pride flags from being displayed in schools during a legislative session, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, in Nashville, Tennessee.  (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

Rep. Gino Bulso, R-Brentwood, presents a bill on the House floor that would prevent Pride flags from being displayed in schools during a legislative session, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, in Nashville, Tennessee. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

The proposal marks a new development in the ongoing battle for LGBTQ rights in Tennessee.  In 2023, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a law banning gender-affirming health care for children

The proposal marks a new development in the ongoing battle for LGBTQ rights in Tennessee. In 2023, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a law banning gender-affirming health care for children

The Senate version of the bill would be more restrictive on who could file a flag charge, limiting it to the students at that specific school, the parents or guardians of those students or employees there.

The proposal marks a new development in the ongoing battle for LGBTQ rights in Tennessee, where the state’s conservative leaders have already taken action to limit classroom conversations about gender and sexuality, ban gender-affirming care and limit events involving certain drag performers may appear.

In March, Governor Bill Lee signed a law banning gender-affirming health care for children.

In addition to the treatment ban, Lee also signed a new law banning “adult-oriented” entertainment, such as drag shows, from public property.

In June, a federal judge appointed by Trump ruled that the law restricting public drag shows was unconstitutional.