Joe Biden Thinks Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Is Some Bigoty Bullsh*t

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Joe Biden Thinks Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Is Some Bigoty Bullsh*t
Photo: Adam Schultz/Biden for President. Creative Commons license 2.0

Florida's state Senate Education Committee voted on party lines Tuesday to move forward the Senate's version of the "Don't Say Gay" bill, and that drew several sharp replies from the Biden administration, as well as from the president himself. Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at yesterday's daily presser that all parents want political leaders to "ensure their children's safety, protection and freedom," but that Florida Republicans had "rejected those basic values" by advancing a bill that's "designed to target and attack the kids who need support" the most, noting that multiple studies have shown LGBTQ kids are targeted for bullying and violence.

The Florida bills, HB 1557 and SB 1834, say that schools

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.

The bill doesn't bother defining what exactly would constitute "appropriate" (or inappropriate) ways of discussing gender identity or sexual orientation, but invites bigots to impose their own definitions by allowing parents to sue schools for damages. To be on the safe side, schools should probably just never mention gay or trans people at all.

No similar protections are afforded to parents of gay kids who are harassed or bullied in Florida schools, mind you, because the whole point is that schools mustn't acknowledge gay people, much less protect them.

Where Donald Trump was always quick to add his misinformed opinion on state legislation, Biden has generally only commented on bills moving through Congress. That made his thorough rejection of the Florida measures particularly significant:

I want every member of the LGBTQI+ community — especially the kids who will be impacted by this hateful bill — to know that you are loved and accepted just as you are. I have your back, and my Administration will continue to fight for the protections and safety you deserve.

We imagine somewhere some wingnuts are very sad about being called "hateful" simply because they want to protect their families from ever explaining why a disgusting classmate said she has two sinning dads.

NBC News reports that Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday he's in favor of the bill, although he stopped short of saying he would sign it. He complained that schools are supposedly telling kids “Don’t worry, don’t pick your gender yet," and that schools are frequently "hiding" class content from parents.

“Schools need to be teaching kids to read, to write,” DeSantis said. “They need to teach them science, history. We need more civics and understanding of the U.S. Constitution, what makes our country unique, all those basic stuff.”

All those basic stuff like count nouns and mass nouns, we guess. DeSantis also said parents "must have a seat at the table when it comes to what's going on in their schools," and what better way to ensure parent input than to encourage lawsuits against teachers?

Why yes, it does look like the start of another Biden-DeSantis fight. Why does Joe Biden want to force discussion of perversion on innocent schoolchildren?

Just to be clear, during debate yesterday in the Florida Senate, one of the bill's supporters made clear that Heather absolutely will not be welcome to say she has two mommies. Sen. Tina Polsky (D) asked whether kids with LGBTQ parents would be prohibited from talking about their families, or whether teachers could be sued if a child raised the matter:

“Why does Johnny have two mommies?” She asked. “What is the teacher supposed to say?”

One of the bill's sponsors, Sen. Dennis Baxley, seemed to suggest that the teacher could indeed get into big trouble for having such a "sexual-type discussion" in an elementary classroom:

Some discussions are for your parents. And I think when you start having sexual-type discussions with children, you’re entering a very dangerous zone. Your awareness should pop up right away, this isn’t teaching.

Yep, you read that right. Acknowledging the existence of gay parents is a "sexual-type" discussion, because of how gay parents have to have sex to make a baby, while heterosexual parents just go to the hospital to pick up babies from the big vending machine there.

Presumably, the only allowable response to Why does Johnny have two mommies? is to repeatedly stammer Ask your parents! on loop, and then have a pop quiz on fractions. That might send Johnny the message that his family is an abomination that can't be mentioned in public, not that Johnny or his pervert family matter.

Also too, in yesterday's hearing on the bill, state Sen. Lori Berman questioned yet another bit of vagueness (there's a lot!) in the bill's language. Noting that the bill insists that parents must be notified by schools of all "critical decisions affecting a student’s mental, emotional, or physical well-being," Berman asked Baxley just how far that would go.

If a student begins requesting vegetarian meals and the school provides it without telling the parent, is that a 'critical decision'...?

Baxley didn't directly say one way or the other, but "explained" that "anything that relates to (students) should be part of the discussion with parents, not keeping parents in the dark."

When Berman asked later whether the vague language in the bill might "lead to a large amount of litigation against our schools," such as a possible lawsuit if a parent were not notified their kid had requested and been given a vegetarian lunch option, Baxley remained evasive. Without directly answering Berman's hypothetical question, he said the bill

would be a relief factor to teachers to know they're not responsible to deal with every issue in life ... I don't think there's going to be an enormous amount of lawsuits. That's just the hammer to let you know there are consequences if you choose to ignore it.

So let's pass this sucker and see what the courts think! Then, just to be on the safe side, schools can start sending parents an endless series of updates to parents about everything discussed in class, in the lunchroom, or on the playground.

Except for Johnny's two moms. If they want protection of his mental health, they can just stop being sinners in the eyes of the lege.

[CNN / Tampa Bay Times / Florida SB 1834 / WBBH-TV / WJXT-TV / Tallahassee Democrat]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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