Editorial: ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill targets the LGBTQ+ community

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Senior Kendra Badger shows support for the walkout by painting a pride flag on their cheek. Photo by Izzy Poole

Public School teachers in Florida are now restricted from talking about gender identity or sexual orientation after what is being called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill was signed by Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis.

While Missouri has not passed anything along the lines of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, other proposals for bills have targeted the LGBTQ+ community. According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, a nonprofit founded to “defend the rights of all Missourians,” a total of 15 bills targeting the LGBTQ+ community have been introduced in Missouri.

Many of the bills target transgender youth, but they also target healthcare, marriage equality and adoption for people of the LGBTQ+ community. Five of the proposed bills focus solely on healthcare bans, along with two bills focusing on trans athlete bans. The other bills vary in different categories of what they are trying to prevent.

DeSantis, who signed the bill on March 28 said educating students about LGBTQ+ issues is “woke gender ideology” He also included that these topics were inappropriate and conversations about these topics do not need to be supported in school settings.

“Since the YRBS began including data on sexual orientation in 2015 and gender identity in 2017, we’ve seen consistently that LGBTQ youth face greater health disparities than their cisgender straight peers. This data continues to make a clear truth that we’ve long known — that LGBTQ students are not getting the support, affirmation, and safety that they need and deserve,” Ellen Kahn, Human Rights Campaign senior director, programs and partnership, said.

The data [also] shows that 43% of transgender youth have been bullied on school property,” according to the Human Rights Campaign website.

The bullying and violence that people of the LGBTQ+ community, specifically transgender youth, face in their everyday lives shows how now more than ever they need support and not shame. The best thing that can be done is to offer them support and make sure that children are being educated about LGBTQ+ topics.

The ACLU website states, “ You can email outreach@aclu-mo.org if you are interested in getting involved.” Petitions and phone numbers can also be found on their website to “make your voice heard.”

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Ali Schulz

This will be Ali Schlutz’s first year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her freshman year.


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