Nineties fever is upon us. Wide jeans and bucket hats are everywhere. Pam & Tommy’s sextape is on the tube. Death Row Records has wriggling godmothers. And in Florida, the Ron Desantis Republicans are plotting to revive another brooding artifact of my childhood, with the help of Ben Shapiro and the conservative media:
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Part Two: Scholastic Boogaloo.
Critics called the proposed ‘Don’t Say Gay’ legislation and I have to be honest, when it first hit my radar I thought it was too ridiculous to be something that could become law. .
Maybe this was one of those cases where a freakazoid state legislator offers hopeless nonsense to the media? Or are activists exaggerating the details of what is on offer? Or maybe it’s one of those scenarios where a president tries a multifaceted putsch to stay in power and New York Times the columnists tell us not to take it seriously because it’s just a big joke and nothing will come of it?
But as it happened: No.
I’ve spoken with people involved in Florida state politics and Don’t Say Gay is not DOA at all.
It was passed by the Florida House and Senate Education Committees. He has the support of the governor. It should be debated in both chambers in the coming weeks. And while controversial bills that crop up early in the session sometimes die on the vine, as it stands, there remains a political path in Florida to codify this effort to silence all gay speech in schools in the state.
If they are successful in Florida, they won’t let teachers or students talk about Bruno* and silence will be enforced by Florida Man.
Supporters of the bill don’t even bother to hide their intentions with Don’t Say Gay. These culture warriors’ case for a DADT redux invokes all the gratuitous cruelty of the bipartisan OG, but with the added innovation of prime-style litigation that modern Republicans find so appealing.
Here is the basics of what is proposed, where the relevant segment of the legislation is identical in both the House and Senate versions: “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity. gender in primary grades or in a way that is not age or developmentally appropriate.”
The Enforcement Section is modeled after Texas abortion premium legislation: “A parent of a student may bring an action against a school district for a declaratory judgment that a procedure or practice school district violates this paragraph and seek an injunction.A court may award damages.
So what exactly constitutes “encouraging” class discussion?
Let’s say a teacher asked his students to make a Valentine’s Day and the sample he gave was the card he made for her husband. Is this an offence? What if a student asked to draw a picture of his two moms? And if she wanted to make her Valentine at Mirabel Madrigal. Or Spider-Ham? (Gods, encourage bestiality!)
Or what about a project that asks students to complete a family tree? Could my daughter hand in an assignment with her two fathers? On the anniversary of the Pulse Shooting in Orlando, could a kid whose uncle died there talk about him in class? Could the school assign the reading of The pulse of my Tio?
The answer to these hypotheses hinges on whether a crazed parent of another student sees Valentine’s Day or the Family Tree or Pulse Book and decides to target the school. Either way, the Don’t Say Gay Bill would give our Panhandle Karen something to chase after.
Representative Carlos Smith, the first openly gay member of the state legislature, argues that the open nature of the language is a feature, not a bug, of those pushing the bill.
“Lawyers are going to be conservative in a way that censors conversations,” he told me. In at least some school districts, this will “push LGBTQ families into the closet.” His view is that by keeping the language vague, a more cautious than sorry ethic will encourage some districts to shut down all these types of conversations.
This is of particular concern in the most sensitive scenario: safety precautions when a student is grappling with questions about their own sexuality or identity. Conversations with mentors at school can be an important outlet for this type of at-risk student. But a Don’t Say Gay bill would make directors particularly reluctant to hire staff for fear of legal reprisals.
In short, they “want kids to be scared,” Smith said.
Arguments made by proponents of the bill suggest that this worst-case view is not alarmist.
Randy Fine, a Republican state representative, said the bill would prevent discussions of “sex ed” in elementary school. But “sex education” is not even mentioned in the bill, it just interprets it in the broadest possible sense. Travis Hutson, a Republican state senator, said the bill would ban an assignment that had the premise “Sally has two moms or Johnny has two dads.”
So in Hutson’s hypothetical, my daughter’s family couldn’t be mentioned in a word problem without the school risking trouble.
Take advantage of the state-mandated closet, kids. Therapy is only a few decades away.
OIn his Daily Wire podcast last week, Ben Shapiro devoted most of a show to defending the confinement of gay teachers and students – or those from LGBT families.
Shapiro passionately defended restricting their speech to the most important people in their lives. He did so a day before devoting an episode to poor, pitiful Joe Rogan and the left’s brutal campaign to silence him. (Airing these two episodes in a row makes one wonder what will happen if the IDW’s cancel culture bots ever reach sentience.)
Shapiro pushed back against an NBC News report stating that opponents “argue the bill would be detrimental to the mental health of LGBTQ children and teachers, preventing them from speaking openly about themselves and their families.”
“Here’s the thing,” he said. “Teachers are not allowed to talk about themselves and their families in class. It is not a right that belongs to teachers. When I was a child, I knew nothing about the family life of my teachers.
Yeah, the last thing a family values curator would want teachers to talk about is their loving family! Icky! Grab this TMI photo of you and your lesbian partner on a camping trip on your desk, stick it in the drawer, perv!
Among the other elements that Shapiro took issue with during his lengthy harangue: “A picture book for second graders about a family with two mothers” and the teaching that “heterosexual marriage is in every way morally equivalent to same-sex marriage” against the will of the parents who do not agree.
He argued that those who oppose his Anita Bryantification of schools are just whiners. “If I’m not allowed to come into a classroom and teach little school children about same-sex marriage, that means my rights have been violated,” he shouted sarcastically.
As to whether teachers should live in a culture of fear where they risk professional calamity if they commit the crime of mentioning their family? Shapiro saw no problem with that.
“I want teachers to feel like they’re on thin ice. . . . They should constantly feel like I’m looking over their shoulder.
Fear is the point, to borrow an expression.
In some ways, it’s refreshing that the family values crowd is taking off the mask it wears as gay rights have become not just normalized but fashionable in American culture.
Seeing the same assholes who wanted to amend the Constitution to make my family illegal standing next to LGBTQ for Trump flags always left me feeling a little sick inside. It made you wonder if they faked their previous position or if it’s the new rainbow paint job that’s fugazi.
The success of that bill in Florida, backed by both the Republican party’s heir apparent and the right-wing’s most successful digital-age media star, suggests the latter.
And that worries Smith, “What we’re seeing is a regression of the work we’ve been doing. We step back. »
Back to Don’t ask, don’t tell. In the closet. To the pain of the children who must protect the truth about themselves and their families so that a group of fanatics will feel no discomfort.
Oh my God, we’re back.
* Their loving and committed same-sex partner or LGBT family member