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"Don't Say Gay" Bills


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Since this is unfortunately becoming a trend, here's a thread to discuss it.


Edited by Cartmann99
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  • Cartmann99 changed the title to "Don't Say Gay" Bills

The beat goes on...

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Air Force Offers Help To Military Families Hurt By States' New Anti-LGBTQ Laws


In an incredibly unusual move, the Air Force is making a point to let its hundreds of thousands of personnel know that it will provide families with medical and legal help if they are personally affected by new state laws attacking gay and transgender children.

And if those service members feel they need to leave those states entirely, for the sake of their kids’ mental or physical health, the Air Force will help them to do that, too.

The Air Force is the only branch of the U.S. military doing this. Its leaders informed personnel late last month, both internally and in a press release, that they have several resources available to them if they need help navigating anti-LGBTQ state laws that may be hurting their families.

Specifically, Air Force leadership is telling service members that military medical facilities are available to provide mental health support to them or their children if they need it in the wake of new laws in states like Florida, where schools are banned from talking about gender identity or sexual orientation, or Texas, where the governor is ordering state officials to investigate parents of transgender children for child abuse.

They’re also telling service members that military legal personnel are available to provide free counsel to families trying to understand their legal protections in states targeting gay and transgender kids.

The largest Air Force base in the world happens to be in Florida, too: Eglin Air Force Base.

“The health, care and resilience of our [Air Force] personnel and their families is not just our top priority — it’s essential to our ability to accomplish the mission,” Air Force Undersecretary Gina Ortiz Jones said in a statement. “We are closely tracking state laws and legislation to ensure we prepare for and mitigate effects to our Airmen, Guardians and their families. Medical, legal resources, and various assistance are available for those who need them.”

Air Force leadership is also telling personnel that they can lean on an existing program, the Exceptional Family Member Program, if they need to be reassigned to a different state with a safer environment for their family or LGBTQ child. This kind of transfer could apply, for example, to an Air Force member who is stationed in Texas and raising a transgender child who needs gender-affirming treatment like hormone therapy.

Marjorie Taylor Greene was attacking the military earlier this week, so I'm sure she'll say something even more inflammatory now. :pb_rollseyes:

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It’s all so horrifying 😞

Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman’s history podcast this week is about the historical context of these bills.


Very interesting stuff! I knew some, but not all of it before listening. This link has the show notes, a listening button, and a transcript if anyone wants to check it out. Knowing more of the history of these issues tends to help me process it all better.


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  • 2 weeks later...

In related news:

Texas School Board Ousts Teacher Over Pro-LGBTQ Rainbow Stickers


A teacher in North Texas received official notice Friday that she’ll be out of a job at the end of the school year after she objected to the school’s removal of pro-LGBTQ “safe space” stickers from the school building.

Rachel Stonecipher, a teacher in the Dallas suburb of Irving, found out Friday that her contract at the school would not be renewed. “The Board approved the Administration’s recommendation by a vote of 6-0, with one member absent,” reads the notice. “Based on this action, your probationary Chapter 21 Contract was terminated and your employment with Irving ISD will end on May 27, 2022.”

“I wish I was surprised that the Irving school board voted to terminate my contract,” Stonecipher tells Rolling Stone. “But they have shown absolutely zero willingness to collaborate with or even verbally respond to all of the speakers who have spoken out about discrimination since the district first pulled me from the classroom.”

Stonecipher, an English and journalism teacher at the Irving Independent School District, has been out of the classroom since the fall of 2021 on administrative leave. Now, she and the students counting on her for support are early casualties in Republican officials’ attacks on LGBTQ tolerance in schools, spurred in part by panic over so-called “grooming” that’s rooted in delusion and barely concealed bigotry.

On April 18, the Irving Independent School District board voted to approve a proposal from the administration to terminate Stonecipher’s contract at the end of the year. The move was initially missed by many, in part because of a confusing statement put out by one school board member, Dr. Rosemary Robbins, that said a final decision had not been made.

The vote on Stonecipher’s contract came after students and members of the public lobbied the board to reinstate her during the public comment period. “For years we’ve bragged about how diverse and wonderful a place Irving is,” said Steven Weir, an Irving resident who spoke at the April 18 school board meeting. “Now we’re in a witch hunt.”

But so it goes here in North Texas, where a heated culture war playing out in school boards across the area has resulted in the firing of multiple educators amid free-speech controversies, mass resignations of district superintendents, and campaigns seeking to pull hundreds of books from the shelves that explore topics related to race, sex, and gender.

It all started when teachers returned to campus at the beginning of the 2021 school year. Some noticed something missing: rainbow “safe space” stickers they had placed on their classroom doors to indicate they were LGTBQ allies. The stickers’ disappearance came as a shock, as teachers had not been notified of the removal ahead of time.

Subsequently, an email to the entire faculty was sent by seven teachers in response to a bulletin explaining their removal, requesting clarifications on the exact nature of the policy, and raising a number of concerns from the perspective of staff. Five of the teachers were sponsors of the school’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) chapter, the student group that had initially promoted the adoption of the stickers. That group email was sent from Stonecipher’s account.

Just days after pushing back on the removal, Stonecipher was put on administrative leave, then under investigation after an HR complaint accused of her of defaming a fellow faculty member as homophobic, which Stonecipher denies.

The reasons offered by the district for removing the stickers and placing Stonecipher on leave have varied. At first, the reasons were vague, citing “district policy.” When pressed by Stonecipher and other teachers, the administration offered talking points saying they wanted to “make campuses a safe zone for all students.”

Stonecipher’s removal comes amid broader efforts by the GOP to crack down on curriculum, books, and other forms of media that may introduce students to topics that parents deem inappropriate. In the past year, multiple Texas state agencies have removed online resources for LGTBQ youth — including information related to suicide prevention. The passage of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill has spurred Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to seek the passage of a similar law in Texas. Meanwhile, Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton have sought to label and investigate parents of transgender youth as child abusers.

In 2021, the first Black principal of nearby Colleyville Heritage High School was fired amid a heated panic over critical race theory. That principal, Dr. James Whitfield, spoke in support of Stonecipher outside the April 18 board meeting.

“I stand in solidarity with Rachel,” Whitfield said to the crowd. “I experienced something similar, not the same, but very similar at a nearby school district. What we’re seeing is an attack on progress toward building an inclusive environment for our kids.”

Hundreds of students walked out of class in protest of Stonecipher’s removal in September. Three spoke at the April 18 meeting, where the board voted on the recommendation to terminate Stonecipher’s contract — a move an administration representative said was in the best interest of the district. After the protest last fall, the school released a statement defending the decision. “The district does not allow teachers to use classrooms to transmit personal beliefs regarding political or sectarian issues,” the statement read.

Stonecipher disputes the characterization: “Teachers are too exhausted to spend any extra energy promoting a personal agenda when we’re still struggling and underwater trying to promote the school’s agenda,” Stonecipher said chidingly. “But in all seriousness, only two out of the five sponsors of the Gay Straight Alliance [that promoted the stickers] are gay. The whole point of the Gay Straight Alliance is to unite across potential perspectives. And helping our students feel safe isn’t a personal agenda. That’s our job.”

Or at least, it was her job.


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George Takei is a national treasure.


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  • 3 weeks later...

This thread is about an attempt to censor a Florida high school's yearbook coverage of the "Don't Say Gay" bill.

Unrolled version is here.

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An update to my post from yesterday:

Lyman High School students claim victory in battle over ‘Don’t Say Gay’ yearbook photos


SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – The yearbook controversy has come to an end.

Lyman High School students will receive a complete yearbook — without covered photos and captions.

The Seminole County Public Schools board voted unanimously Tuesday night to put disclaimer stickers in the yearbook instead of covering three photos from a student-led walkout with stickers.

Students were upset after school administrators announced they would cover up the photos, which display a “Don’t Say Gay” student-led walkout in March criticizing the state’s Parental Rights in Education law.

Lyman High School principal Michael Hunter said Monday that the yearbook would be delayed in order to achieve this, adding that it was required in order to fit in with school board policies.

Following the announcement, yearbook students decided to peacefully protest Tuesday’s SCPS board meeting.

The board’s decision at the meeting was made after more than 30 students and supporters approached the podium, asking board members to leave the photos uncovered.

“I know the yearbook staff put their sweat and tears into creating this yearbook,” Lyman High School yearbook student Maya Gluck said.

The students said by covering the photos, they were ultimately silencing the LGBTQ+ community.

“There’s other solutions than covering this up,” Lyman High School yearbook editor Sara Ward said.

Before the vote, SCPS Superintendent Serita Beamon clarified why the decision was made in the first place.

“The Lyman High School yearbook section that is at issue did not make it clear that the student protest was in fact student-led, not supported or endorsed by the schools or the district. Instead, it left the opposite impression,” Beamon said.

She said administration was not trying to target or silence anyone.

As Beamon leaned toward abiding by current guidelines, student said they thought they were going to lose the fight, until the board chairman, Amy Pennock, turned the conversation around.

“I will personally write the check to cover different stickers that don’t cover this section,” Pennock said.

Her statement received immediate applause from the crowd.

Other members like Vice Chair Abby Sanchez joined in.

“These are our children. We need to do what’s best for them,” Sanchez said.

Students said they now realize how powerful their voices are.

“I’m so validated, like, I feel so good as a citizen, as a student, as a yearbook member — I feel so good right now,” yearbook member Olivia Booth said.

Booth’s peer, Skye Tiedemann, said there is a big message here.

“Don’t be afraid to speak up, because students, they do have a chance to change things,” Tiedemann said.

School staff said they are going to work on getting new disclaimer stickers printed and predict they will be placed in each yearbook before the end of the week.


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Florida Student Finds Clever Way To Shred 'Don't Say Gay' Law In Graduation Speech


A Florida high school student opted for a hair metaphor after he says faculty members threatened to censor his graduation speech if he spoke about his LGBTQ activism or experiences as a gay teen.

Zander Moricz, senior class president of Pine View School for the Gifted in Osprey, Florida, planned to use his speech on Sunday to criticize the state’s Parental Rights in Education, or “Don’t Say Gay” law. Once staff members learned about his plan, however, Moricz said he was told by Principal Stephen Covert that any reference to the controversial law or his sexuality would result in his microphone getting shut off.

So, when Moricz, 18, delivered his speech at Pine View’s graduation ceremony, he shared quips about his curly hair as euphemisms for being gay.

“I used to hate my curls,” he said in the speech, which can be viewed in full here. “I spent mornings and nights embarrassed of them, trying to desperately straighten this part of who I am. But the daily damage of trying to fix myself became too much to endure.”

“There are going to be so many kids with curly hair who need a community like Pine View and they will not have one,” Moricz continued. “Instead, they’ll try to fix themselves so that they can exist in Florida’s humid climate.”

In a Monday interview with “Good Morning America,” Moricz said he was pleased by the reception his speech received from classmates and other graduation attendees.

“You don’t know how a very volatile and polarized community is going to respond, but it was amazing,” he said. “I knew that the threat to cut the mic was very real, so I wasn’t gonna let that happen. I just had to be clever about it. But I shouldn’t have had to be, because I don’t exist in a euphemism. I deserve to be celebrated as is.”

Turns out, Moricz’s activism goes beyond lip service. He also organized student walkouts in protest of the “Don’t Say Gay” law, and is named in a lawsuit against the state of Florida related to the legislation.

In his “GMA” appearance, Moricz said that the discourse his speech has already generated was evidence of the “horrifying” scope of the state law, which largely forbids instruction on sexuality and gender identity in most elementary school classrooms.

HuffPost reached out to Covert for comment, but did not immediately hear back. Earlier this month, the Sarasota County School District issued a statement confirming that the principal had met with Moricz, but stressed that the content of the planned speech had not been reviewed.

“Out of respect for all those attending the graduation, students are reminded that a graduation should not be a platform for personal political statements, especially those likely to disrupt the ceremony,” the school district said. “Should a student vary from this expectation during the graduation, it may be necessary to take appropriate action.”

His full speech:

He begins talking about his curly hair at 3:46.

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14 hours ago, Cartmann99 said:

Florida Student Finds Clever Way To Shred 'Don't Say Gay' Law In Graduation Speech

His full speech:

He begins talking about his curly hair at 3:46.

Somehow I missed that there was a whole thread on this bill in this area.  I will check out this quiver as well as the misogyny quiver in order to expand my information sources.  I created a new topic- The Kids are Alright- because of this kid.  Your post is better as it has his whole speech.  I posted the CNN coverage which includes his participation in the lawsuit fighting the law.  He is the youngest plaintiff on the lawsuit.  

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