Texas Lt. Governor Considers State’s Own Version of Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he would make passing legislation inspired by Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law a ‘top priority’ in his state’s next legislative session. .

Mr Patrick, who is Governor Greg Abbott’s lieutenant, made his announcement in a campaign email sent to supporters with the subject line “I’M OVER DISNEY!”

In it, he took aim at the entertainment company for promising to fight Florida law that prohibits teachers from teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity in classrooms until third grade or not at all. in a way that is not “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate.” in other classes.

The law, like an anti-abortion law in Texas, allows parents to sue school districts if they believe they have violated the policy.

Experts have argued that the bill targets LGBTQ+ students, who already face high levels of bullying, harassment in schools and depression. Florida students rallied in large numbers against the bill, staging school walkouts and demonstrating outside the state capitol in Tallahassee.

Now Mr. Patrick, who is running for re-election in November, wants to bring a version of the bill to Texas. Although the state does not have another legislative session scheduled until 2023, Patrick wrote that the issue may come up in education committee hearings before then.

In addition to a potential crackdown on teachers’ freedom to teach about gender and sexuality, Mr. Patrick also targeted teachers’ ability to teach about current events and the history of racism in the United States and announced his intention to end the tenure system in the state. university system.

Texas teachers responded by leaving the profession in large numbers, leaving the state with a severe teacher shortage.

In addition to cracking down on academic freedom, Texas has also criminalized gender-affirming care for transgender children. In February, Mr. Abbott ordered state welfare officials to open criminal investigations into parents whose children receive gender-affirming care.

But it was Disney that seemed to be Mr Patrick’s priority on Monday.

The Lieutenant Governor wrote that he had sold his shares in the company and encouraged his followers to boycott the company so that it could not “indoctrinate the children of America with their radical ‘woke’ views.”

Val Benavidez, executive director of the Texas Freedom Network, told the Texas Grandstand that Mr. Patrick is irrelevant.

“Gender expression by children isn’t something scary or harmful,” Benavidez told the Austin-based outlet. “The scary thing is that political activists are seizing power by interfering in the lives of Texas families and the education of students.”

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