Why do the people behind the "Don't Say Gay" bill think they are fighting against "Grooming"?

I mean what do they think “grooming” involves? For one thing talking about sex or gender identity doesn’t automatically inovlve showing how to do sex acts.

The bill imposes several vague restrictions on classroom instruction. The most notable part of the bill provides that “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

The bill, however, does not define key terms like “age appropriate” or “developmentally appropriate.” It doesn’t even define the term “classroom instruction.”

Suppose, for example, that Ms. Smith is a second grade teacher married to a woman. One evening, while Smith and her wife are shopping at the mall, she runs into one of her students and they say hello to each other. The next day, the student asks Ms. Smith who the woman she was shopping with is, and Smith responds, “Oh, that’s my wife.”

If this conversation with the student occurs in a classroom, does it constitute “classroom instruction”?

The insidiousness of Florida’s law is that teachers who won’t understand how to comply with the new law are likely to overcensor their speech in order to protect themselves from being accused of violating the law.

Under current law, the Don’t Say Gay bill isn’t just vague, it is unconstitutionally vague. In Keyishian v. Board of Regents (1967), for example, the Court struck down a web of New York laws intended to prevent communists and other “subversives” from becoming teachers or professors — one statute, which barred employment of anyone who “‘advises or teaches the doctrine’ of forceful overthrow of government” was so broadly worded that it could potentially have forbidden state-run universities from teaching the Declaration of Independence.

A statute governing classroom speech, the Court established in Keyishian , must not be so vague that people “of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application.” If Keyishian remains good law — and there is no guarantee that the US Supreme Court’s Republican supermajority will apply Keyishian fairly to an anti-LGBTQ law — then Florida’s Don’t Say Gay bill does not clear this bar. It’s simply too vague.

As Clay Calvert, the director of the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project at the University of Florida, told Changing America, the “Don’t Say Gay” law could have a “chilling effect.” Teachers may be inclined to censor themselves for fear of retribution by parents who might even sue.

There is also the issue of the free-speech rights of the students.

In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court made it abundantly clear in Tinker v. Des Moines School Dist. that students of every age have First Amendment rights. Calvert says that means students have the right to sue if their discussions or questions about sexual identity are stifled.

“You can imagine a child who is questioning their sexual orientation at a young age and then being shut down by a teacher who says, ‘Well, by law, unfortunately, we can’t encourage discussion of this,’” Calvert said.

“It’s a complex issue because it really is about how much a state legislative body can do to limit speech and limit expression in the classroom,” he added.

Finally there is the fact that the bill is based on several lies:

Supporters said the measure is intended to push back on attempts to incorporate gender identity and sexual orientation into the education of young children.

In a campaign-style video shared by Fox News, DeSantis addressed criticism of the bill in front of a friendly crowd: “In the state of Florida, we are not going to allow them to inject transgenderism into kindergarten.”

“First graders should not have woke gender ideology imposed in their curriculum, and that is what we are standing for,” DeSantis said.

These statements echo remarks by state Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, the bill’s Senate sponsor who said he was addressing “social engineering” that could result in more children identifying as gay or transgender.

Brandon Wolf, press secretary of LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Florida, said these tropes may further stigmatize LGBTQ students. “Suggesting that sexual orientation or gender identity is ‘contagious’ is not based in fact.”

Baxley did not respond to PolitiFact’s request for evidence. When they asked DeSantis about his statement, press secretary Christina Pushaw said that DeSantis is trying to prevent indoctrination.

Angela Mann, associate professor of child psychology at the University of North Florida, said she was not aware of any research showing classroom lessons could alter sexual orientation or gender identity.

“I am not aware of any K-3 grade teacher that is campaigning or ‘social engineering’ students to be LGBTQ such that it could be studied to tell whether or not such a campaign could be successful,” Mann told PolitiFact.

Democratic lawmakers tried to amend the provision to prohibit classroom instruction intended to change a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity. They also tried to narrow the bill to specifically bar classroom instruction on “sexual activity.” Sen. Jeff Brandes, a Republican from St. Petersburg, tried multiple times to amend the bill to bar instruction of “human sexuality,” another effort to make the bill less about identity. None of these amendments passed.

The Florida Department of Education told PolitiFact that sexual orientation and gender identity are not included in the curriculum taught in the state’s kindergarten through third-grade classrooms.

Pushaw said that not including a topic in a curriculum does not mean it won’t be brought up in classroom instruction, pointing to a guide used by Palm Beach County Schools intended to create a “safer place for all students.”

It becomes clear that Republicans want to censor any discussion of LGBT identities. For example, While Florida Republicans have said that children of LGBTQ parents would be able to discuss their familial structures in class, that language is not included in the bill .

Democratic opponents of the bill tried to exclude discussion related to family structures, historical events or bullying prevention, but their amendments failed.

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The answer is that they don’t actually think that, it’s just a poorly thought out pretense.

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Only a very stubborn person who treasures their self-bewizarding politics above all else will refuse to let science win the matter of whether the Earth is round. On the other hand, power-conservative Christian fundamentalists in general, including ultra-orthodox Catholics, are not prepared to concede to science that there could be biological differentiation factors that make supposedly deviant genders and sexual orientations a ‘given’ in people’s lives. At this point in history, having at least temporarily lost the ability to suppress all speech by deviants, they have now all heard from many hundreds of LGBT people who truthfully report their status as being based on a found reality within themselves, not by any means a free ‘moral’ choice. Thus, besides:

  1. defending the gender/sexuality ramparts in their war on science, the fundies are also
  2. engaging in a conspiracy theory, since clearly all those personal statements of “I feel like I was born this way” must be a coordinated falsehood put out as a political front by immoral avoiders of community norms.

Through this pseudological mechanism, anyone supporting a minor who says they feel like they were “born this atypical way” is enlisting the child to participate in a devious fashion trend that includes joining the conspiracy that says that the perceived gender or sexuality wasn’t a choice.

Since there’s no physical marker of sexual orientation and no blood-test-type verification of trans gender, all we deviants have against this militaristic cultural retrenchment is our statements of our own truth. Conspiracy theories, however, exist to strike down those who tell the truth so that liars can win the epistemological war. The action of simply refusing en masse to believe the truth can be extremely powerful. Ultimately, though, true biodifferentiated deviants have the advantage that their families and friends know them and will mostly want to accept their truth, so that generation-old suggestion by Harvey Milk – “come out, everyone,” remains the best advice.

The fundies are still managing to intimidate enough people in their families and friend circles that they can circumvent reality, and the LGBT+ people within their families have to stand up to them.

F*ck what Florida says, that place is an open sewer. On the surface (I don’t have time to read into it, nor do I care all that much) they’re trying to equate homosexuality with child molestation without saying it. I fully support LGBTQ teaching in classrooms, regardless of age, because education and acceptance is more important than what some conservatives think.

I did notice that DeSantis signed it today though. Last time I heard from him, he left the state and went on vacation after the shit hit the fan when Omicron surged to unprecedented levels. What a great guy!