A week after Florida passed its “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Louisiana State Rep. Dodie Horton has introduced a similar bill that goes even further.
Horton’s House Bill 837 would ban all discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity through 8th grade while also prohibiting all K-12 teachers from even mentioning their own orientation or identity. It’s nothing more than an attempt to erase the very existence of LGBTQ people.
After introducing the bill, Horton said her pastor urged her to do it.
“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.'”
She thinks mentioning that people are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender—just talking about it—is too mature for 8th graders. (She never says at what age it’s acceptable.) Even worse, though, teachers with same-sex partners would effectively be banned from putting pictures of their families on their desks because (gasp) students might ask who those people are, and answering the question could lead to termination.
Horton said in 2015, when she first ran for office, that she attended Fillmore Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist church in the city of Haughton. That church’s pastor is Skip Rainbolt, whose YouTube page includes an “LGBT” playlist that has a speech from a woman who claims to be an ex-lesbian. Which is to say Horton is taking her anti-gay cues from a guy who thinks you can just change your sexual orientation through gay conversion torture. A bunch of Christian monsters have their fingerprints all over this bill.
If there’s any silver lining here, it’s that Louisiana’s governor, John Bel Edwards, is a Democrat who has already made clear he doesn’t support the bill. But the real concern is that Republicans like Horton see no downside to introducing something so despicable. They’ll eventually be rewarded by the bigots who make up their base.