The LGBTQ+ community faced another obstacle last week as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis expanded his “Don’t Say Gay” movement into elementary schools. The Board of Education ratified a bill stating that teachers are banned from including lessons about gender orientation for students between fourth and twelfth grade.
This legislation became the new addition to DeSantis’ conservative agenda to prevent the exposure of the LGBTQ+ culture to young children, which he deems harmful and unnecessary. Title IX in the Constitution makes gender discrimination illegal in schools, and Democratic representatives argue that his bill is considered highly unconstitutional and enables prejudice.
LGBTQ+ proponents have openly criticized schools banning of books and discussions that they believe can empower young children to identify with their gender of choice and empathize with the community’s ongoing plight.
The burgeoning issue of LGBTQ+ rights, especially for transgender people, has remained the subject of debate and divisiveness as the November presidential election approaches. DeSantis’ bold commitment to prohibit school classrooms and sports in Florida from any gender orientation, dysphoria, or identity integration has awarded him immense support from the GOP and former-Trump supporters.
In late March, Democratic lawmakers contended the notion by passing a law that would prohibit any school sports team from preventing transgender athletes from competing with their gender of identity. The U.S. Education Department, under the Biden administration, stated that all children should have the freedom to experience athletics free from discrimination. This decision was enacted in the same week Kansas and West Virginia fought for a bill that would force children to compete in sports with the gender they were assigned at birth. Twenty-one states have already moved to ban transgender athletes from partaking in sports as the gender they identify with instead of their gender at birth.
With the election just months away, the Republican stance observed in the House debate holds that they aim to protect women’s rights by creating bans that limits transgender participation in sports. Democratic representatives disputed and mentioned the nationwide ban of abortion and contraceptive hindrance for women initiated by Republican legislature.
The November election will dictate LGBTQ+ rights and its role in education and sports.
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