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    Wednesday, August 17, 2022

    ‘Don’t say gay’ bill sponsor is baffled by LGBTQ ‘trend’

    Just listen to the rhetorical gymnastics Republicans in the Florida Legislature have employed to defend what opponents call the “Don’t say gay” bill. 

    We have nothing against LGBTQ kids, they argued.

    We’re just protecting parental rights, they said, trying — and failing — to defend themselves against charges that they are homophobic.

    But it took a debate on the Florida Senate floor on Monday for the true views of at least one of the politicians behind House Bill 1557 to emerge: There are just too many gay kids nowadays.

    That, apparently, is why bill sponsor Sen. Dennis Baxley, a Republican from Ocala, thought it was appropriate to legislate against his discomfort with what he called a “real trend change” in society.

    “My son’s a psychiatrist and I said, ‘Why is everybody now all about coming out when you’re in school?’” Baxley told his fellow senators. “And there really is a dynamic of concern of how much of this are genuine-type of experiences and how many of them are just kids trying on different kinds of things.

    “So my question is, simply, are we encouraging this or eliminating it by putting emphasis on it?” Baxley said.

    If kids are too comfortable experimenting with their sexuality, it must be because they know too much, the thinking seems to be. Blame those deviant teachers for turning our kids gay through what Baxley called “social engineering.”

    HB 1557 seeks, among other things, to ban “classroom instructions” about sexuality and gender identity from kindergarten to third grade, “or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” The Legislature passed it Tuesday and Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he supports it.

    (Note: if you don’t want your children to learn sexuality or gender identity, consider banning the internet from your home.)

    Because when you don’t talk about it, people don’t turn out to be gay.

    Baxley believes that when kids come out, “overnight, they’re a celebrity.” That doesn’t jibe with statistics that show LGBTQ youth are more likely to commit suicide.

    “LGBTQ youth are not inherently prone to suicide risk because of ther sexual orientation or gender identity but rather placed at higher risk because of how they are mistreated and stigmatized in society,” the Trevor Project says, on its widely accessible homepage.

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