The expanding attack on queer Americans

The situation in Florida (the state with the prettiest name!) continues to wither if citizens don’t belong to a governing majority that despises public education but would support shipping their teething child to Siberia at six months if men could get pregnant. HB 1557, which wants to ensure elementary schools ignore the pleas of gay, lesbian, and trans youth, inches closer to passage. However, Florida House Republicans removed the bill’s most disgusting element:

Their biggest win came less than an hour before the start of the floor session. Republican leaders withdrew a proposed amendment to HB 1557 that critics said could have led to the outing of LGBTQ youth to their parents even if they faced potential abuse. “Nothing in the amendment was about outing a student. Rather than battle misinformation related to the amendment, I decided to focus on the primary bill that empowers parents to be engaging in their children’s lives,” said bill sponsor Rep. Joe Harding, R-Williston.

Well, bully for them.

Meanwhile John Roberts and his Sinister Six prepare to take an ax to decades of civil rights law precedents. An anti-gay law firm with the Opposite Day name Alliance Defending Freedom has taken up the case of Colorado graphic designer Lorie Smith. A specialist in rightist kitsch, Smith has said she doesn’t want to create websites for LGBTQ customers. Here’s the kicker: no one has asked her. This is a pre-emptive move. But the Supremes have their sights on protected speech for homosexuals and any other minority that has sought protection under the First Amendment. Mark Joseph Stern calls it a “poisonous presumption about the supremacy of speech over equality.” Stern:

If ADF prevails, businesses may secure a right to discriminate against anyone as long as their work involves speech. A racist photographer could refuse to shoot an interracial wedding. An antisemitic florist could refuse to provide flowers to a Bat Mitzvah. A hairdresser could refuse to serve Black people. A chef could refuse to cater a quinceañera. The list goes on; every commercial transaction involves expression, and every civil rights law is enforced through compelled speech. If a business’ First Amendment rights outweigh the government’s interest in ending discrimination, few non-discrimination laws will be safe from constitutional attack.

Unafraid to look like a bat-faced sociopath, Rick Scott of Florida released a Senate blueprint should his party take that chamber in November. “Our kids will say the Pledge of Allegiance, salute the flag, learn that America is a great country, and choose the school that best fits them,” Scott’s plan states. HTV doesn’t play Cold War games, but substitute “The Internationale” and learn that the USSSR is a great country, and you get an idea of the degree to which the GOP aspires to the uniformity of the Supreme Soviet.

3 thoughts on “The expanding attack on queer Americans

  1. Luckily the voices of children across the state are yelling out in protest. We in Florida will continue to fight for what is good and kind and fair and safe for all of our students – and laws or no laws, the vast majority of teachers (of which I was one for 10 years, before moving into social work) want to support ALL kids. If ANYONE here knows a teacher looking for ways to make their school safer for their LGBTQ+ kids (which incidentally makes the school safer for all the students), please send them to my new site, https://creatingsafeschools.com … soon I’ll be releasing podcast interviews with students who talk about their experiences in the public schools, and why they need our support.
    Thank you!

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