This week read about Georgia introducing its own "Don't Say Gay" bill, and lawmakers in Idaho threatening libraries that have LGBT books with fines and jail time.
Another State Introduces ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill
Lawmakers in Georgia turned to their southern neighbor and decided to take notes. On the same day that Florida’s Senate passed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, legislators introduced their own version which would ban subjects like gender identity and sexual orientation in private schools.
Formally known as the Common Humanity in Private Education Act, the Guardian says the bill makes it so private schools can’t “promote, compel, or encourage classroom discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not appropriate for the age and developmental stage of the student.”
While supporters say it promotes parental rights, opponents to the bill say that it’s another attack on LGBT youth.
“We know it’s not about parental rights,” said Jeff Graham, the executive director of Georgia Equality, an LGBT advocacy group. “It really is about restricting the activities, participation, and learning of children in school.”
Although the bill is aimed directly at private schools, critics say the wording could allow it to apply to publicly funded programs.
Librarians Fear Criminal Prosecution Over LGBT Books
Photo via Adobe.
Lawmakers are now threatening librarians with fines and jail time for exposing children to material that the state deems to be harmful.
The bill (HB 666) has already passed the Idaho House of Representatives.
Like many other states, they have a law that prohibits adults from showing minors imagery or descriptions of nudity, sexual conduct, or sadomasochism. There are a few exceptions including for people acting as employees of a library, school, university, museum, or educational organization. The new bill would remove that exception and not add any amendments replacing it.
According to Reason magazine, this has left librarians afraid that they could be prosecuted for materials that contain any forms of nudity or sexual contact.
The law defines “harmful” as based on the "prevailing standards in the adult community," which is incredibly vague when it comes to issues pertaining to the LGBT community.
House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel asked the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt, whether a librarian could be prosecuted for stocking a Judy Blume book that mentions masturbation, but did not get an answer. The bill is vague and could be enforced in a one-sided manner.