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by Staff Writer - March 7, 2022
In many states, counties, and cities across the United states, new and unjust laws intended to inflict hardship and constraint that are targeting sexual and gender minority school children are being enacted. Homophobic adults absolutely have not adopted a more accepting attitude towards gay people and gay youth, they have rebranded themselves and re-targeted those who are the most vulnerable and the least able to mount a defense.
These new laws are being called "No Promo Homo Laws" and bar or explicitly restrict educators from discussing LGBTQ people or issues in schools. Research has shown that LGBTQ students attending school in a states with a "no promo homo laws" must navigate a more hostile school climate, in comparison to LGBTQ students in states without "no promo homo laws" and that students are:
In Florida as House Bill 1557 (AKA: The “Don’t Say Gay” bill") inches closer to becoming law, an openly gay Flagler Palm Coast High School junior Jack Petocz who helped organize protests against House Bill 1557 was indefinitely suspended from school, which the spokesperson for the Flagler school referred to as, an "excused administrative leave". This was done under the pretext that he "was disrespectful and openly advocating against staff".
The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) has not been immune from attack. GSA is a student club that provides a safe space for LGBTQ students to learn about who they are and get a break from the bullying that is rampant in many schools. Several student groups have had to fight legal battles in court in order to form chapters or continue to meet.
In Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott is demanding the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services investigate parents who support their transgender children and allow them access to gender affirming medical care prescribed by their doctors.
Recently, the Texas department of health and human services removed it's suicide prevention resources for LGBTQ youth from its website.
As of January 2022, 10 states have enacted restrictions effectively preventing transgender students from participating in interscholastic sports teams that align with their gender identity. Several states have similar legislation pending.
In Idaho, new legislation would make it a felony to give minors transition-related care, punishable by up to life in prison.
In the last two years, numerous school districts in many states but particularly in Texas, Tennessee, and Florida have been banning books for gay and transgender youth. In some places, even the public libraries are being forced to remove books with "gay content" and the librarians threatened with legal consequences for failing to comply.
Currently in Oklahoma, there is new legislation that would criminalize school librarians over LGBTQ books. If the school official or librarian does not remove the books, the school shall be fined a minimum of $10,000 a day, and that school official or librarian will be barred from working in any school for a period of two years.
Along with the same old rhetoric and clichés in using derogatory buzzwords such as "lifestyle" and "choice" when referring to LGBTQ youth, the authors of these latest homophobic attacks have developed a new tactic. Schools that attempt to support their sexual and gender minority students are being accused of being, "laboratories of social engineering". This is a very divisive tactic that says little or nothing about it's true meaning, while at the same time sounding frightening and leaving parents of school children to reach the worst possible conclusion.
While the term social engineering has a different meanings depending on if it's being used in the context of information security, the general meaning is, "the use of centralized planning in an attempt to manage social change and regulate the future development and behavior of a society."
When politicians and others talk about schools as "laboratories of social engineering", what they are really talking about are the schools attempting to stop bullying and create a more inclusive environment. What parents hear is, "they are trying to turn our kids gay."
It is surprising that in 2022 just how many people (including some boylovers) that still believe that sexual orientation and gender identity is a choice. This is really the crux of the issue. Along with just basic homophobia, many parents of school children erroneously believe that their children can be convinced or recruited into becoming gay or transgendered.
There is also fear and confusion as well as lack of understanding among parents as young people become more sexually sophisticated and perhaps more fluid in their sexual expression and appearance/dress. As student's knowledge of their own sexuality increases and they come to understand that most people are not exclusively heterosexual that they are predominantly heterosexual, this can lead to more neutral or accepting attitudes in students but also extreme discomfort among many parents.
Acceptance of sexual minorities is contrary to many spiritual belief systems, including the teachings of many Christian, Jewish, and Muslim sects.
Of course, there are some parents and politicians who simply hate gay people and want kids to hate them too.
While the adult LGBTQ community may enjoy more privileges and social acceptance, it is clear that LGBTQ kids do not. LGBTQ kids are the targets of this new and improved homophobic assault, where casualties of this onslaught are all the more devastating. The Trevor Project estimates that at least one LGBTQ youth between the ages of 13–24 attempts suicide every 45 seconds in the U.S.