It isn’t only Florida that is dangerously ‘segregating’ LGBTQ students from their peers using discriminatory laws aimed at what support educators can provide. Texas has also jumped on the anti-LGBTQ bandwagon.
DeSantis’ ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law, which went into effect on July 1 of this year, makes it illegal for educators to support their LGBTQ students. One teacher was quoted as saying, “I cannot fathom being in a classroom where I cannot support my kids to the fullest of my ability because there are now laws that tell me what I can and cannot do to support my kids.” As a result, Florida has been losing teachers in droves.
In a small Texas school district a new anti-LGBTQ law affects things like pronoun usage, which books are available and even what bathroom kids can use. As hundreds of people gathered to protest, and students walked out, one Board member said, “now we have a war against librarians, a war against LGTBQ+ students and teachers, and that is why I’m voting against these policies.”
Opponents of these phobia and hate based laws have found another ally in the fight – Faith Leaders.
In a letter to the Grapevine, Texas school board, the inclusive ‘Faith Coalition’ wrote, “we are feeling deep sorrow and frustration over the decision to further erode the dignity and rights of LGBTQ+ students. The move is nothing short of persecution.”
The Catholic leadership of two high schools in Nebraska has also rejected new policies governing gender issues, saying they “should be taking a pastoral approach with great care and on an individual basis,” and that they have no plans to adopt the Archdiocese’s gender-identity policies.
Some Christian leaders are rejecting these hate-based, persecutory and judgmental laws and showing the truth of compassion and love to LGBTQ students by supporting them in whatever shape their lives take. Will this be a turning point?