In response to House Joint Resolution 661, which condemns the organizers of Sex Week:

A RESOLUTION condemning certain leaders within Tennessee's General Assembly for representing the residents of Tennessee in an ineffective manner;

WHEREAS, the students of this public institution are most distressed by the Tennessee State Legislature once again for wasting time and therefore tax dollars on useless resolutions;

WHEREAS, zero tax dollars are used to fund a week's worth of sexual education – in a state with the 10th highest teen pregnancy rate – and programs promoting sexual openness and acceptance;

WHEREAS, Tennessee lawmakers have no authority over the allocation of student fees no matter how loud they whine;

WHEREAS, Tennessee has the ninth highest unemployment rate in the nation, yet these lawmakers are spending their constituents' time and money on outrageous fringe bills – the sole purpose being to prove they stand far enough to the right;

WHEREAS, we can look to exhibit A, SB1425, Sen. Stacey Campfield's "Merry Christmas" bill coming up in the House Education Committee this week, allowing civic institutions to display religious memorabilia during the winter season;

WHEREAS, we can look to exhibit B, SB2566, allowing businesses to refuse to sell goods or services to people who are "related to the celebration of any civil union, domestic partnership, or marriage not recognized by the state;"

WHEREAS, we can look to exhibit C, House Joint Resolution 642, a resolution urging conservative talking-head Sean Hannity to move to the state of Tennessee;

WHEREAS, we can look to exhibit D, HB716, the "guns-in-parking-lots" bill spearheaded by Senate lawmakers, allowing gun owners to keep their firearms in their vehicles at all times – on both private and public property;

WHEREAS, we can look to exhibit E, SB49, Sen. Stacey Campfield's proposal for the discussion of any sexual behavior that is not heterosexual in nature being rendered illegal in public schools;

WHEREAS, we can look to exhibit F, SB0132, Sen. Stacey Campfield's proposal which would cut welfare benefits by 30 percent to parents of children who fail a grade in school;

WHEREAS, we can look to exhibit G, HB1129, a bill requiring school districts to teach only curriculum that stresses the positive difference the United States has made in the world;

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE RESIDENTS OF THE GREAT STATE OF TENNESSEE that we shall hereby condemn certain members of the legislature for failing to promote the well-being of Tennesseans by straying from legislation concerning jobs, health care and education, to instead propose petty and ideologically-charged bills. It is evident that the General Assembly continues to spark up issues that are inherently polarizing and pointless, and the state of Tennessee deserves good, genuine representation. Tennesseans are not being truly represented by the leaders in Nashville, whose actions keep this state abuzz in the satirical news cycles. The state of Tennessee deserves more than what it is getting from its legislature.

Suzanne Lamb is a senior in philosophy. She can be reached at suzanne@utk.edu.