Republicans in the House of Representatives have introduced what critics are calling a federal version of Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.
The legislation, officially titled Stop the Sexualisation of Children Act of 2022, would see “any sexually-oriented program, event, or literature for children under the age of 10” prohibited from receiving federal funds.
This would include events such as Drag Queen Story Hour, which has been subjected to increasing amounts of negative attention by some right-wing politicians.
Places such as hospitals, public libraries, federally funded schools and military bases would also be affected by the sweeping legislation.
The bill was introduced by Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson on 18 October and is co-sponsored by 32 House Republicans.
“The Democrat Party and their cultural allies are on a misguided crusade to immerse young children in sexual imagery and radical gender ideology,” he said in a statement. “No federal tax dollars should go to any federal, state, or local government agencies, or private organizations that intentionally expose children under 10 years of age to sexually explicit material.”
The Sexualisation of Children Act of 2022 loosely defines “sexually-oriented material” as “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.”
It follows the introduction of the Parental Rights in Education law in Florida, dubbed ‘Don’t Say Gay’ by many, which prohibits “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity” in kindergarten through to grade three “or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
Democrats currently control the House of Representatives, meaning that the Sexualisation of Children Act of 2022 has little chance of passing.
It is, however, a sign of how far some Republicans are willing to go to censor LGBTQ+ topics at a national level.