Monday, February 07, 2022

Gov DeSantis supports 'don't say gay' bill which could expose LGBTQ kids to parental abuse


FL Gov Ron DeSantis

As vile as this development is, it should surprise no one. The 2024 presidential election will be here sooner than you think and FL Governor Ron DeSantis is eager to bcome the GOP front runner. 

Apparently it doesn't matter if he has to pave his road to the Oval Office with LGBTQ kids.

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis on Monday for the first time showed support for an anti-LGBTQ bill that bans discussion of LGBTQ issues or topics in schools while forcing teachers to out children to their parents at home. “In terms of the schools, we’ve seen instances of students being told by different folks in school, ‘Oh, you know, don’t worry, don’t pick your gender yet. Do all this other stuff,’” DeSantis said Monday, Florida Politics reports. 

“They won’t tell the parents about these discussions that are happening. That is entirely inappropriate.” DeSantis also said it is “inappropriate” for teachers “to be hiding these things from parents,” meaning issues of sexual orientation or gender identity. “To get into situations where you’re not having the parent (involved), where you’re hiding things from the parent, you’re injecting these concepts about choosing your gender. That is just inappropriate for our schools,” DeSantis reinforced.

DeSantis's tone is one of the problems with the bill. His narrative embraces deliberate omission of LGBTQ parents and same-sex families. And there is a even deadlier problem with the bill which needs more discussion.

As the article notes, the bill forces teachers to out students to their parents because of the narrative that parents know best. However, the sad but unfortunate fact when it comes to LGBTQ kids is that many times, parents don't know best. And sometimes the actions they take after their children are outed are the worst thing which could happen.

Some LGBTQ youth become homeless because they are kicked out by their parents after being outed. And on the streets, they face high risks of physical and sexual abuse, more discrimination, suicidal thoughts, and as well as other negative repercussions.   

According to Lambda Legal:

Between 20% and 40% of all homeless youth in the United States identify as LGBTQ. Frequently rejected by their families or fleeing abusive long-term placements, these youth are too often misunderstood and mistreated by the staff and other residents at temporary shelters. Homeless and runaway LGBTQ youth too often are misunderstood and mistreated by the staff and other residents at temporary shelters. Harassment, assault and even rape within these facilities are common experiences. The data is sobering: half of a sampling of lesbian and gay youth who had been in out-of-home care settings reported that they had spent periods of time living on the streets in preference to the hostile environments they had found in these settings.  Being homeless imperils a young person’s physical and emotional security. 

According to a 2002 study by the University of Washington, LGBTQ homeless youth are physically or sexually victimized on average by seven more people than non-LGBTQ homeless youth. With nowhere to go and no means of support, some may be forced to engage in survival behaviors that place them at significantly higher risk for mental health problems, substance abuse and exposure to sexually transmitted infections. Some of these survival activities, such as sex work, are illegal, leading many LGBTQ homeless youth to encounters with the juvenile justice and delinquency systems.

And in equally ugly situations, having to remain at home after they are outed exposes LGBTQ kids to violence and other forms of abuse. with their parents being the culprits.

Supposedly the bill has a component which says notifications may not happen if it is determined that the child would be exposed to violence in their home. But that part is vague in terms of who makes the determination or its criteria. And LGBTQ kids deserve more than a vague component which sounds more like of a Cover Your Ass protection for the bill instead of genuine protection for them.

By supporting this bill, Gov. DeSantis is saying he doesn't care about the well-being of  LGBTQ kids who are stuck in potentially abusive households or even just as bad, thrown out in the street by their parents. 

In this desire to create more notoriety for themselves and more action from their base,  DeSantis and supporters of the bill seem to be ignoring the fact that kids have rights too - most specifically, the right to feel safe from discrimination, violence and other forms of abuse even if it may from their parents.

'Republicans targeting LGBTQ youth in state legislative sessions' & other Mon midday news briefs

Florida Republicans target LGBTQ youth in 2022 legislative session​ - So it's not just transgender children. The GOP is targeting all LGBTQ kids. 

Lawmakers Target LGBTQ Issues in Schools - And not just in Florida.

16 Penn swimmers issue letter in support of new transgender athlete rules - Right after a letter of support for her. No difficult guesses who or what group is behind THIS letter.