Inside the Proposed National "Don't Say Gay" BillBreaking News
tags: Republican Party, LGBTQ history
House Republicans have introduced legislation that some critics are describing as a national "Don't Say Gay" bill – inspired by the controversial Florida law that bans instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade classes.
If the federal bill were to become law, which is unlikely in the current Congress, its effects could be far more sweeping, affecting not just instruction in schools, but also events and literature at any federally-funded institution.
Here's what's in the bill – and what people are saying about it.
The bill's language is broad and consequential
The measure was introduced on Tuesday by Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., and co-sponsored by 32 other Republicans.
"The Democrat Party and their cultural allies are on a misguided crusade to immerse young children in sexual imagery and radical gender ideology," Johnson said in a statement, calling the bill "commonsense."
The bill, called the "Stop the Sexualization of Children Act," aims "To prohibit the use of Federal funds to develop, implement, facilitate, or fund any sexually-oriented program, event, or literature for children under the age of 10, and for other purposes."
The language in the proposed legislation lumps together topics of sexual orientation and gender identity, with sexual content such as pornography and stripping.
Critics of the measure dubbed the Florida law "Don't Say Gay" and argue that its intent is to marginalize LGBTQ people and their families. A cascade of other states quickly introduced similar legislation, and Alabama passed its own version of the bill into law.
Among the proposed legislation's definition of the "sexually-oriented material" that it would limit, it includes description and depiction of sexual acts and "lewd or lascivious depiction or description" of human genitals.
But it also prohibits a full range of topics related to the LGBTQ community – "gender identity, gender dysphoria, transgenderism, sexual orientation" — that are largely about identity.
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