Lt. Gov. Patrick calls for TX version of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill

Lt. Gov. Patrick calls for TX version of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill

Isabel Webb Carey
Isabel Webb Carey
|
April 5, 2022

Following the recent passage of the Florida bill known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Monday that he will push for similar legislation in Texas.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed the Parental Rights in Education law that forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. The legislation has drawn intense national scrutiny from critics who argue it marginalizes LGBTQ+ individuals. It has since attracted several lawsuits filed by LGBTQ+ advocacy groups against the State of Florida.

In a campaign email as part of his reelection bid, Patrick expressed his irritation with the Disney corporation for its opposition to the Florida bill and went on to say that such legislation will be a priority for his office. 

“I will make this law a top priority in the next session,” Patrick wrote. “This issue will be addressed in our interim Education Committee hearings under Parental Rights.”

Val Benavidez, executive director of the Texas Freedom Network, said in a statement to The Texas Tribune that Patrick’s promise to bring similar legislation to the state is a “stain on Texas.”

“Gender expression by children is not something that is scary or harmful. What is scary is that political activists are grasping at power by overstepping into the lives of Texas families and education of students,” Benavidez said. “While politicians use hate speech that is far from center to harm our vulnerable youth, we will continue to love our children and make sure that all families are uplifted in public life.’

Patrick also laid out 80 other priorities ahead of the 2023 session that include recommendations to address school library books, academic tenure and other education culture war issues. The statement came amid a wave of legislation targeting LGBTQ+ communities and curriculum through restrictions on what can be taught in schools about race and American history, laws banning certain books about race and sexuality from library shelves, and the criminalization of gender-affirming health care for transgender children.

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Isabel Webb Carey

Isabel Webb Carey

Isabel Webb Carey attends the University of Texas at Austin in the Plan II Honors Program with a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas. Her interests include education, local governance, sustainability, and equity. Isabel enjoys dancing, hiking, and live music. She is also a staff writer for the Texas Orator. Email her at isabelwebbcarey@gmail.com
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