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Regional & National

Tenn. gov. gets 'gateway sex' bill that could see some teachers fined $500

April 30th, 2012 10:51 am by Tom Humphrey

NASHVILLE — Legislators have sent the governor a bill, drafted by a conservative Christian organization, that makes classroom instructors who promote or condone "gateway sexual activity" subject to a $500 fine.

The phrase in SB3310, which was given final approval Friday when the Senate signed off on a minor House amendment, was the subject of much legislative debate. On the House floor it ranged from joking to impassioned oratory and a reference to the phrase being lampooned by Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert and subject to criticism in The New York Times.

"Gateway sexual activity is so vaguely defined it could be holding hands, hugging, anything that teenagers do like that," said Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville.

Read the expanded version of this report at the Knoxville News Sentinel Web site.

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