We knew this would happen. From The USA Today:
Florida's "Parental Rights in Education" bill, which would restrict classroom discussions about LGBTQ people, is just the tip of the iceberg for similar legislation across the country, data shows. Florida's bill has inspired national backlash, but it contains language similar to many other bills – branded "Don't Say Gay" legislation by critics. Those proposed laws are currently in various stages of moving through state legislatures. The barrage of legislation represents a widespread attack against LGBTQ people and their allies, according to policy experts. Young people, who identify as LGBTQ at higher rates than older generations of Americans, stand to be harmed the most by the bills, experts said.
One bill in Louisiana is downright scary because the person behind it is up front about what she wants to accomplish. The bill not only seeks to shut down any discussion of LGBTQ issues from elementary school to the 8th grade. It would criminalize teachers for even mentioning sexual orientation and gender identity:
A bill that would bar discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in K-12 schools has been filed in the Louisiana Legislature. It follows similar efforts in Florida and more than a dozen other states referred to as “Don’t Say Gay” proposals. Filed by Rep. Dodie Horton, R-Haughton, House Bill 837 would make it illegal for schools to incorporate “classroom instruction or discussion relative to sexual orientation or gender identity” in kindergarten through eight-grade classes and for teachers and other school employees to discuss “personal sexual orientation or gender identity” with students in grades K-12th grade.
Horton inanely insists that her bill isn't a 'Don't Say Gay' bill despite what it does. She also said her bill is to 'protect children.'
Again with the claims about wanting to 'protect' the children. It's an old but successful card. It's the close cousin to the 'protect marriage' and 'protect religious liberty' card. And LGBTQ Americans know it well. Every time the religious right get on a jag about 'protecting' something, we are the ones who end up needing bodyguards.
The USA Today article continues:
Eighteen other states have seen the introduction of bills similar to Florida's this year alone, according to MAP and the Equality Federation, which released a report Wednesday documenting hostile school and curriculum bills. Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma already have similar policies on the books from the 1990s.Many of this year's pieces of legislation are called "parental rights" bills, but critics said the name distracts from stipulations that would harms kids for whom school is the only place they feel comfortable talking about LGBTQ issues. Among those bills are ones requiring parents to "opt-in" for students to learn about certain topics, giving families power to make decisions about learning that are typically made by certified educators and counselors, Goldberg and MAP policy researcher Logan Casey said.“We end up in a situation where you have politicians who are not educators making decisions about what happens in the classroom, and it really does tie the hands of local school boards as well as state school boards to make those decisions in an informed and public way," Goldberg said.
So what do we do about it? Well sitting on our asses and twiddling our thumbs in abject fear won't get us anywhere. Truth be told, no matter how dire things look, we aren't defeated. Not by a long shot. They can try to shut us out, but they can't ever shut us down.
And that's the key. No matter how many bills they try to pass, the haters can't shut us down. They can make things incredibly difficult for us, but they can't shut us down because quite simply, they can't shut us up. They can't shut up our creative, our determination, and especially our dogged determination to have the last word each and every time one of them crawl out of their fraudulent ecclesiastical and fake ivory towers to come after us.
They want no one 'say gay?' We will have America saying it so much than even the haters will say it in their sleep. They want to erase our kids and families from the schools and libraries? Then we will go everywhere INCLUDING those schools and libraries. Every action they take to shut us down is an opportunity for us to raise the noise and conscious levels as to who were are.
It's not like we haven't done it before. Hate may be their brand, but overcoming their hate is our brand.
You see the oppositions acts under the illusion that a few bills and laws can eradicate us. That's their belief, but it ain't reality. And everything they do to force that belief on us is an opportunity for us remind them of what reality actually says.