Respect Equality

Louisiana lawmakers revive ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

“Regardless of the topic, no teacher should use their position to push their own personal beliefs or ideology on the impressionable minds of their students,” the bill’s author has said.
Rep. Dodie Horton, R-Haughton, asks questions about a Medicaid bill during a hearing of the House Health and Welfare Committee on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Baton Rouge, La. Horton in March introduced a measure that would prevent teachers through high school from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity with their students. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

Story at a glance

  • Lawmakers in Louisiana have revived legislation that would prohibit educators through high school from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity with their students.

  • The measure was introduced in March and died last week in a House committee.

  • Louisiana Rep. Raymond Crews (R) made a motion Tuesday on the House floor for the bill to be heard in a “Committee of the Whole.” The motion passed in a 55-39 vote, meaning the measure will now be heard on the full House floor.

Louisiana legislators Tuesday revived legislation seeking to prevent public school teachers and “other presenters” through high school from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity within school walls after the bill was shot down last week in a House committee vote.

Under the measure, first introduced in March by Republican Rep. Dodie Horton, “No teacher, school employee, or other presenter shall cover the topics of sexual orientation or gender identity in any classroom discussion or instruction in kindergarten through grade eight.”

It does not specify what is meant by “other presenters.”

The bill also states that teachers, school staff and others are prohibited from discussing their own sexual orientation or gender identity with students in kindergarten through the 12th grade.


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“Simply put, my bill is an attempt to protect our most innocent from indoctrination of any kind,” Horton said in March, the Bossier Press Tribune reported at the time. “My bill seeks to protect our children from undue influences and personal preferences or ideologies. Parents should also be confident that only the approved curriculum is being taught to their children.”

Horton added that public school educators should “always refrain” from sharing with their students their sexual orientation, which she called a “lifestyle choice” in her testimony during a lengthy debate of her bill last week.

“Regardless of the topic, no teacher should use their position to push their own personal beliefs or ideology on the impressionable minds of their students,” she said.

Horton’s bill failed in the House Education Committee last week in a 4-7 vote after hours of debate, but it was revived on Tuesday in a rare House vote.

Rep. Raymond Crews (R), who helped author the legislation, made a motion Tuesday on the House floor for the bill to be heard in a “Committee of the Whole,” which would resurrect the measure and move it to the full House floor for consideration.

The motion passed in a 55-39 vote. A hearing has not yet been scheduled.

In a weekly update on Tuesday, the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ+ advocacy and lobbying group, announced that more than 335 bills targeting LGBTQ+ Americans are currently under consideration in 36 states.

Restrictive curriculum bills seeking to limit or ban classroom instruction or discussion related to sexual orientation or gender identity have been introduced in dozens of state legislatures nationwide. In March, Florida became the first state to pass a law barring teachers from addressing those topics in a manner that is not “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate” for their students. Alabama followed soon after.