(NewsNation) — A new bill introduced by congressional Republicans Tuesday would prohibit federal money from being used to develop or fund any “sexually oriented program, event or literature,” for children under the age of 10.
The measure, called the Stop the Sexualization of Children Act, says that private organizations, state government agencies and local agencies have previously used federal grants to host and promote “drag queen story hours and burlesque shows.”
If passed, the law would allow parents to sue any public or private entity that uses federal dollars on programs that expose children to “sexually-oriented material.”
Rep. Mike Johnson, the Louisiana Republican who introduced the bill, said the legislation is necessary to combat the Democratic Party’s “misguided crusade to immerse young children in sexual imagery and radical gender ideology.”
WHO’S TALKING ABOUT THIS?
- The Guardian: “Republicans aim to pass national ‘don’t say gay’ law”
- Huffington Post: “Republicans Introduce Bill To Restrict LGBTQ-Related Educational Materials And Programs”
IS THAT REALLY WHAT’S HAPPENING?
The main question at issue is how the bill defines “sexually-oriented material.” The measure reads:
Sexually-oriented material means any depiction, description, or simulation of sexual activity, any lewd or lascivious depiction or description of human genitals, or any topic involving gender identity, gender dysphoria, transgenderism, sexual orientation, or related subjects.Stop the Sexualization of Children Act of 2022
WHAT’S ANOTHER SIDE OF THIS STORY?
Critics are calling the legislation a federal “Don’t Say Gay” law — the name opponents gave to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which Gov. Ron DeSantis signed in March. That bill forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.
LGBTQ advocates fear the newly proposed law could cause institutions such as universities, public schools and hospitals to be defunded for hosting any events discussing LGBTQ people where children happen to be present.
Unlike the Florida bill, which focused on instruction in classrooms, the latest measure means any organization that receives federal funds could be defunded if it “exposes” a child under 10 to “sexually-oriented” material.
As outlined above, forbidden material would include any topic involving “gender identity, gender dysphoria, transgenderism, sexual orientation, or related subjects.”
THE BOTTOM LINE
The bill is unlikely to become law while Democrats control the U.S. Senate and the White House, but it’s further evidence that Republicans believe they’re on the winning side of this issue.