Connect with us

Louisiana

Unprecedented use of rare procedure revives ‘Don’t Say Gay’ in Louisiana

The procedure is called “Committee of the Whole,” which allows the House to vote to override the House Education Committee’s vote

Published

on

Louisiana State Capitol building (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

BATON ROUGUE – Democrats and LGBTQ+ advocacy groups are crying foul after a Louisiana State Republican Representative Raymond Crews, (District 8- Bossier City) used a rare legislative procedural tool Tuesday to revive House Bill 837, introduced by fellow state Republican Dodie Horton, (District 9-Bossier), that was killed in the Louisiana House Education Committee last week.

The procedure is called “Committee of the Whole,” which allows the House to vote to override the House Education Committee’s vote. Crews’ motion passed along party lines 55-39.

House Bill 837 would enact a law that: 

  • No teacher, school employee, or other presenter shall cover the topics of sexual orientation or gender identity in any classroom discussion or instruction in kindergarten through grade eight.
  • No teacher, school employee, or other presenter shall discuss his own sexual orientation or gender identity with students in kindergarten through grade twelve.

“Anti-LGBTQ+ politicians are pulling out all the stops in their attempt to censor and control students and teachers,” said Sarah Jane Guidry, executive director of the Louisiana Forum for Equality, the state’s LGBTQ advocacy organization.

“It’s absurd that politicians are resorting to this kind of behavior. Moving this bill forward at the expense of LGBTQ+ students’ well-being is a shameful political trick. It’s time for our elected officials to halt this bill once and for all and return their focus to the real issues facing families in our state, like quality health care and economic programs,” she added.

The chair of the Louisiana House Democratic Caucus State Rep. Sam Jenkins blasted the Republican maneuvering.

“It would be unprecedented to use the committee of the whole for this purpose,” Jenkins, told local media outlets. “If that’s the case, then every bill that fails in a committee could be brought to the floor. For that reason, I would object to this bill being discharged.

All children, including transgender children, deserve to be supported and respected in school. Positive representation of LGBTQ+ people and issues in school is a critical part of creating an inclusive environment that protects LGBTQ+ kids’ safety and well-being,” Peyton Rose Michelle, Secretary on the Board of Directors of LA Trans Advocates said in an emailed statement. “This bill would also deny all students–not only LGBTQ+ students–the opportunity to learn accurate history and important lessons about the diverse world around them. I’m disappointed to see politicians putting partisan games above young people’s rights and freedoms. But I’m so proud of the young people and families who have already spoken out against this dangerous censorship effort and we won’t stop fighting for safe, supportive and liberating education for all.”

This legislation follows passage of a similar bill in Florida and efforts in Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia and 16 other states in at least 40 bills have been introduced to ban classroom discussion of LGBTQ+ people which opponents charge leads to erasure of LGBTQ+ identity and increased risks of suicide by LGBTQ+ youth.

Passage was opposed by LGBTQ+ advocacy groups as well as Democratic Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards whose office had released a statement:

“Some of the bills being brought up this session do nothing to make lives better. Nothing to continue moving us forward. They only serve to divide us. And frankly, some are reminiscent of a dark past that we should learn from, not relive.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Louisiana

Louisiana lawmakers reject ‘Don’t say gay’ bill

The bill was opposed by the state’s LGBTQ+ advocacy groups as well as Democratic Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards

Published

on

Louisiana State Capitol building (Photo Credit: Screenshot YouTube LA State Government)

BATON ROUGE –  A sweeping bill that would bar school employees from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity in K-12 classrooms in the state was killed in the Louisiana House Education Committee Tuesday.

House Bill 837, introduced by state Representative Dodie Horton, (R-District 9-Bossier) would enact a law that: 

  • No teacher, school employee, or other presenter shall cover the topics of sexual orientation or gender identity in any classroom discussion or instruction in kindergarten through grade eight.
  • No teacher, school employee, or other presenter shall discuss his own sexual orientation or gender identity with students in kindergarten through grade twelve.

Horton, speaking with ABC News’ Baton Rouge affiliate WBRZ-2, at the time she introduced the legislation told the station;

“I wasn’t aware of the need [for this legislation] until I looked at some things on Twitter and Facebook,” Horton told WBRZ Thursday. “It just solidified for us to protect our Louisiana children, as well.”

“I started to pray about how we could protect our children here from inappropriate conversations until they are able to dissect it and old enough to understand it,” Horton explained. “I talked to my pastor and he challenged me and said, ‘we definitely need to do this.’”

This legislation follows passage of a similar bill in Florida and efforts in Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia and 16 other states in at least 40 bills have been introduced to ban classroom discussion of LGBTQ+ people which opponents charge leads to erasure of LGBTQ+ identity and increased risks of suicide by LGBTQ+ youth.

Passage was opposed by LGBTQ+ advocacy groups as well as Democratic Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards whose office had released a statement:

“Some of the bills being brought up this session do nothing to make lives better. Nothing to continue moving us forward. They only serve to divide us. And frankly, some are reminiscent of a dark past that we should learn from, not relive.”

Continue Reading

Louisiana

‘Don’t Say Gay’ pile-on: Louisiana State Rep. introduces sweeping bill

Horton told WBRZ ABC 2: “I talked to my pastor and he challenged me and said, ‘we definitely need to do this’”

Published

on

Rep. Dodie Horton, (R) being interviewed by WBRZ-2 (Screenshot/WBRZ)

BATON ROUGE- Louisiana House Representative Dodie Horton, Republican District 9-Bossier Parish, introduced a sweeping bill Thursday that would bar school employees from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity in K-12 classrooms in the state.

House Bill 837 states: 

  • No teacher, school employee, or other presenter shall cover the topics of sexual orientation or gender identity in any classroom discussion or instruction in kindergarten through grade eight.
  • No teacher, school employee, or other presenter shall discuss his own sexual orientation or gender identity with students in kindergarten through grade twelve.

Horton, speaking with ABC News’ Baton Rouge affiliate WBRZ-2, told the station;

“I wasn’t aware of the need [for this legislation] until I looked at some things on Twitter and Facebook,” Horton told WBRZ Thursday. “It just solidified for us to protect our Louisiana children, as well.”

“I started to pray about how we could protect our children here from inappropriate conversations until they are able to dissect it and old enough to understand it,” Horton explained. “I talked to my pastor and he challenged me and said, ‘we definitely need to do this.’”

This legislation follows passage of a similar bill in Florida and efforts in Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia and 16 other states in at least 40 bills have been introduced to ban classroom discussion of LGBTQ+ people which opponents charge leads to erasure of LGBTQ+ identity and increased risks of suicide by LGBTQ+ youth.

Governor John Bel Edwards’ office released the following statement in response to the bill, reiterating comments made by the governor during Monday’s State of the State address. 

“Some of the bills being brought up this session do nothing to make lives better. Nothing to continue moving us forward. They only serve to divide us. And frankly, some are reminiscent of a dark past that we should learn from, not relive.”

Continue Reading

Louisiana

Louisiana lawmakers fail to overturn Edwards veto of Trans sports bill

Edwards further said that the bill was “mean” because it targets “the most emotionally fragile children in the state of Louisiana.”

Published

on

Louisiana Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards (Photo Credit: Official state portrait)

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana lawmakers failed to override Gov. John Bel Edwards’ (D) veto last month of a bill that would have barred trans girls and women from participating on athletic teams or in sporting events designated for girls or women at elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools.

The measure, Senate Bill 156 authored by Sen. Beth Mizell titled the ‘the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,’ in the Governor’s eyes, “was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana,” Edwards said in his veto statement;

“As I have said repeatedly when asked about this bill, discrimination is not a Louisiana value, and this bill was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana. Even the author of the bill acknowledged throughout the legislative session that there wasn’t a single case where this was an issue. 

The Republican majority state House chamber failed to override the Governor’s veto after voting 68-30 to override it, according to the state legislature’s website.

The vote narrowly missed the 70-vote threshold needed in the lower chamber to override the veto.

Two-thirds of both the House and Senate must vote to override a governor’s veto, according to the local Baton Rouge newspaper The Advocate.

The Governor reacted to the news that his veto withstood Republican efforts to overturn it in a press conference Wednesday.

Edwards noted that in his view he had “rejected a play” that had no place in Louisiana. 

“I would rather the headlines going out from today be that Louisiana did what was right and best. We rejected a play out of a national playbook that just had no place in Louisiana. That bill wasn’t crafted for our state, I mean go read it and look at the arguments that were made. None of that applies here,” Edwards said.

He further said that the bill was “mean” because it targets “the most emotionally fragile children in the state of Louisiana.” 

“We have to be better than that,” Edwards said. “We have to be better than that.” 

 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @LosAngelesBlade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular