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Anti-LGBTQ legislation on the rise as FL Senate passes bill

Florida’s Senate voted this week to go the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” invoice, whose official identify is the Parental Rights in Education invoice. If signed by Governor Ron DeSantis, it could restrict what academics can talk about about sexual orientation and gender id. The invoice stipulates “a school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.” It additionally permits dad and mom to sue faculties or academics who talk about these matters.

DeSantis has not confirmed whether or not or not he’ll signal the invoice, however he has stated he finds it “entirely inappropriate” for academics to debate gender id with college students. Over the weekend, his press secretary tweeted, “The bill that liberals inaccurately call ‘Don’t Say Gay’ would be more accurately described as an Anti-Grooming Bill.”

The invoice grabbed greater than its share of headlines this week, however Florida shouldn’t be alone: “Don’t Say Gay” is a part of a rising development of anti-LGBTQ laws throughout the nation. According to Freedom for All Americans, a bipartisan marketing campaign that advocates for LGBTQ folks, lawmakers have proposed 197 anti-LGBTQ payments since January, 168 of that are nonetheless alive. Compare that to the complete legislative session final 12 months when lawmakers proposed 139 anti-LGBTQ payments.

Freedom for All Americans constructed an in-depth legislative tracker that lists every anti-LGBTQ invoice and teams them beneath varied classes, equivalent to “anti-transgender” or “youth sports bans.” It additionally reveals what number of of those payments focus particularly on faculty coverage—starting from eradicating LGBTQ discussions from classroom discussions to e-book bans.

In the Kansas House of Representatives, as an example, lawmakers need to change its obscenity legislation to embrace classroom supplies with “homosexuality.” A Tennessee House invoice seems to ban classroom materials that might “promote, normalize, support, or address lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) lifestyles.”

In the identical vein, on March 1, the Oklahoma Senate Education Committee handed a invoice, SB 1142, that seeks to ban LGBTQ+ books from faculties and faculty libraries. Authored by State Senator Rob Standridge, the invoice permits dad and mom to request faculties take away books that “make as their primary subject the study of sex, sexual lifestyles, or sexual activity, or books that are of a controversial nature.” Standridge additionally authored one other invoice, SB 1470, which might cost anybody at a college “directly or indirectly promoting positions in opposition to closely held religious beliefs” of scholars “$10,000 per incident, per day.”

School workers present in violation of the Oklahoma invoice must pay the $10,000 from private funds, and anybody discovered receiving assist from different teams or people could be banned from state faculty employment for as much as 5 years. SB 1470 is presently being learn by the Senate’s Education committee. Cindy Nguyen, the ACLU of Oklahoma coverage director, instructed News on 6 that when Oklahoma efficiently handed the ban on essential race concept final 12 months it opened the door to a “surplus of censorship bills.”

According to a 2021 survey by the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention group for LGBTQ youth, 42% of LGBTQ youth severely thought of suicide prior to now 12 months. However, the survey discovered that LGBTQ youth who had “access to spaces that affirmed their sexual orientation and gender identity—including schools” had decrease suicide try charges.

“Every LGBTQ young person deserves to attend a school that provides an inclusive, affirmative environment—not one that aims to erase their existence,” Amit Paley, CEO and govt director of the Trevor Project, stated in a press release condemning the Florida invoice.

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