Louisiana lawmakers have advanced a bill that has drawn comparisons to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law. The Republican-backed legislation, which passed in the House and is now headed to the Senate, aims to restrict discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity in K-12 public schools. The bill also requires teachers to use a student’s birth-assigned name and pronouns.
Republican state Rep. Dodie Horton, who authored legislation, told the Associated Press the bill has “nothing to do with someone’s personal lifestyle,” but rather was created to “protect all children” and allow parents to broach the subjects how they see fit.
“No one should talk to our children about sensitive subjects without consent of their parents,” Horton said.
Supporters argue that the measure protects children and gives parents control over these topics, while opponents view it as discriminatory and harmful to LGBTQ+ youth.
Similar bills have been introduced in other states, including Alabama, Arkansas, and Kentucky. Critics worry that these laws could exacerbate mental health issues and create an unwelcoming environment for LGBTQ+ students.
Teachers also express concerns about potential repercussions for addressing homosexuality. The Louisiana bill is part of a broader trend of legislation that seeks to control the use of pronouns and deadnaming of transgender students in schools across the country.