Florida Legislators Find A Way To Make 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Even Crueler

Florida Legislators Find A Way To Make 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Even Crueler
St. Petersburg Pride Parade 2017. Photo: City of St. Pete, Creative Commons License 2.0

The GOP cannot get enough child abuse! Whether it's bullying trans kids in Texas or slapping around their own babies, Republicans are always down to pick on people who are small and vulnerable. And if those small, vulnerable people are LGBTQ+, well, so much the better. So it should come as no surprise that the sponsor of Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill has found a way to make it even more cruel and destructive.

In addition to banning teachers from acknowledging that gay parents, students, and families exist, the original language of Florida House Bill 1557 required teachers to out students to their parents if they admit to thinking about anything other than heterosexual, P-in-V sexytimes.

But crucially, it contained an exemption for the safety of the kids if school personnel determined that outing a student might put them in danger.

School district personnel may not discourage or prohibit parental notification of and involvement in critical decisions affecting a student's mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being. This subparagraph does not prohibit a school district from adopting procedures that permit school personnel to withhold such information from a parent if a reasonably prudent person would believe that disclosure would result in abuse, abandonment, or neglect, as those terms are defined in s. 39.01.

Rep. Joe Harding, R-Williston, looked at this and thought, "Cool, but can we make it more ghoulish?" So he filed an amendment nixing the law's outing opt-out to protect kids' safety.

The school principal or his or her designee shall develop a plan, using all available governmental resources, to disclose such information within 6 weeks after the decision to withhold such information from the parent. The plan must facilitate disclosure between the student and parent through an open dialogue in a safe, supportive, and judgment-free environment that respects the parent-child relationship and protects the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of the student.

Sorry your parents are going to kick you out, kid, but we gotta "respect the parent-child relationship," so we're going to out you in a way that protects your "mental, emotional, and physical well-being." Even if the end result is that you end up homeless or abused.

Here's that smarmy little POS yelling at Jen Psaki for calling him out on his bigotry. And if you guessed he looks like that asshole who made middle school a living hell for every gay kid, you were absolutely right.

He's not trying to forcibly out kids! No, he's just making it easier for parents to get school records. Also to allow them to sue the school and teachers for discussing human sexuality in a way that is "not age-appropriate." And before you ask, no he will not be using a definition of "appropriate" derived from say the American Academy of Pediatrics, or the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. Because that wouldn't be nearly stigmatizing enough!

So instead the Florida House will debate this filthy amendment which would strip children's privacy rights and safety in the name of "parental control." Because acknowledging that gay kids exist is apparently not "age-appropriate."

“We’ve seen instances of students being told by different folks in school, ‘Oh, don’t worry, don’t pick your gender yet,’” Governor Ron DeSantis said last week, describing something that absolutely, positively did not happen so he can pretend to be solving a problem, rather than just building his political future on the backs of vulnerable children. “They won’t tell the parents about these discussions that are happening. That is entirely inappropriate. Schools need to be teaching kids to read, to write.”

"They are basically calling LGBTQ+ people pedophiles," tweeted Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani. "That’s what the #DontSayGay bill has always been about. Shaming people for identifying as LGBTQ+, trying to force folks back into the closet and accuse schools of 'turning kids gay.'”

Lord but these people are vile. The amendment will come to the floor Tuesday for debate.


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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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