WASHINGTON — Republicans in the Georgia Senate introduced divisive legislation to ban discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in private and nonpublic schools, the same day as Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill passed the legislature. This bill is a double-whammy, combining “Don’t Say Gay” with attempts to white-wash American history. This bill could cause school personnel to out students to their parents and prohibit discussions of LGBTQ topics, deterring teachers and counselors from being a safe and confidential resource for students and ostracizing children with LGBTQ families.
“It is no surprise that Georgia Republicans are jumping on the train of GOP legislation that targets LGBTQ kids and pushes a white-washed version of history,” said DLCC vice president of communications Gabrielle Chew. “American children deserve the best education in the world, but Republicans are deadset on weakening the curriculum and creating unsafe environments for our children to learn in. Democrats are standing in support of parents and teachers who just want what’s best for their kids. Children are our future, not fodder for the culture war that Republicans want to use to divide us.”
This legislation hinges on Republican lawmakers’ belief that “a focus on racial and gender identity and its resulting discrimination on the basis of color, race, ethnicity, and national origin is destructive to the fabric of American society.” It is clear that the GOP is set on dragging America back into the last century through anti-LGBTQ and anti-history legislation.
Republican state lawmakers have already introduced more than 170 anti-LGBTQ bills this year, surpassing last year’s record-breaking total of 139 anti-LGBTQ measures, which are hugely unpopular among the vast majority of Americans, including the majority of Republicans. Clearly, the Republican legislators in support of this extreme government overreach are even out-of-touch with their own base.
Additionally, state legislators in 41 states have introduced educational gag orders intended to restrict teaching and training of race and identity in K-12 schools, higher education, and state agencies and institutions. Nine Republican-controlled states, including those with racist legacies like Arizona, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Tennessee, have passed legislation banning the teaching of topics related to white supremacy and systemic racism.