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Disturbing Don’t Say Gay copycat bill decisively killed off in Louisiana

Emily Chudy May 5, 2022
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Don't Say Gay copycat bill shut down in Louisiana

LGBTQ employees protesting CEO Bob Chapek's handling of the staff controversy over Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill stage a walk-out (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

A Louisiana copycat of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which bans discussion of LGBTQ+ topics in schools, has been struck down.

The Daily Advertiser explained that the Republican-backed Louisiana bill would ban discussion of “sexual orientation and gender identity” in pre-school through to primary school, or teachers discussing their own sexual identity through to 12th grade.

The bill, however, was struck down by the Louisiana House Education Committee on Tuesday (3 May), who voted seven to four to keep the bill from advancing.

Republican representative Dodie Horton, who put forward the bill, said at the committee: “Unfortunately, some teachers are interjecting their own lifestyle choices into the classroom… [the bill] defines the line that has recently been blurred by some teachers to share their personal sexual identity and gender preferences with our children.”

The New Orleans Democratic Socialists of America celebrated the bill being struck down on Twitter, saying: “Kids and teachers across our state are free to be their whole selves, without shame… We are stronger together, always.”

Harrowing new research by The Trevor Project found that half of young LGBTQ+ Americans considered suicide last year, with “relentless political attacks” citied as a potential reason for poor mental health in the community.

The Trevor Project – a suicide prevention and crisis intervention charity for LGBTQ+ young people – released its annual National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health survey on Wednesday (4 May).

It found that nearly half (45 per cent) of LGBTQ+ youth had “seriously considered” suicide in the past year, rising to 53 per cent of trans and non-binary youth.

The charity’s CEO and executive director Amit Paley said the research demonstrated that “suicidal thoughts have trended upward among LGBTQ+ young people” in recent years, making the organisation’s “life-saving work all the more important”. 

“The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and relentless political attacks during this time period cannot be understated,” Paley said.

The Trevor Project survey also found that the rising number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills attempting to marginalise the queer community has had an horrific impact on the mental health of young people in the US, with 93 per cent of trans and non-binary young people saying they were worried about trans people being denied access to gender-affirming medical care, and 91 per cent concerned about being denied access to the bathroom.

Paley added that queer young people are a “marginalised group consistently found to be at significantly increased risk for suicide because of how they are mistreated and stigmatised in society”.

More: don't say gay, Florida, louisiana

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