Monday, September 26, 2022

Don’t Say Gay.

 It is causing great harm to the LGBTQ+ youth in schools, it has caused an increasing in bullying and discrimination in violation of federal law.

Critics say new school policies in Florida ostracize LGBTQ students
By William Brangham and Dorothy Hasting
September 20, 2022

Judy Woodruff:

In Florida, some local school boards have implemented policies that critics say are ostracizing LGBTQ students as the new school year gets under way.

Other states are taking similar steps, including most recently in Virginia.

William Brangham is back now with our look at its impact for some students in Florida.


Will Larkins:

I have noticed an uptick in anti-LGBTQ hate crimes and general attitude toward people.

I have always dealt with homophobia at high school. I have always been called slurs and stuff, but it has gotten worse since the school year started. A lot of things have happened. Most recently, my sister and I were followed home after a football game by 15 guys, who called us slurs, told us to kill ourselves.

It was really scary. They said they were going to beat us up. They chased us. We got lost in the trees.

The other thing I have noticed really — really that I know for a fact came from this is more of the rhetoric that's coming from the state legislature and our governor, such as the grooming rhetoric, calling queer people pedophiles, has now trickled down to the high school level, and high school bullies are using the same language as our politicians, who are pushing for this bill and other anti-LGBTQ laws.

William Brangham:

Those are horrible experiences. I'm sorry.

Javier, have you seen similar kinds of things?

Javier Gomez:

I have, actually.

I mean, from my school, I have noticed that there's been a divide against a lot of students with the anti-gay rhetoric that's been spewed around by so many people. I have noticed the languages that are being used. There's the grooming pedophiles, et cetera.

And I definitely think that there's been this precedent set by this bill in particular and other states nationwide. And it's been trickling down to, like Will said, the high school level, where a lot of kids are using that language and thinking it's appropriate, and going at queer kids.

And it's really traumatizing, to a point where it hurts me and it hurts — and I can't imagine the pain that other people are feeling. And I'm not in high school anymore.

That is the harm that these laws are creating. They are empowering the vitriol that these children are seeing in schools. If you look at the bias crimes in states that are anti-LGBTQ+ compared to affirming states it is like night and day.

In 2016 after the Pulse night club shootings in Florida, the New York Times ran an article about bias crimes.

L.G.B.T. People Are More Likely to Be Targets of Hate Crimes Than Any Other Minority Group
Even before the shooting rampage at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were already the most likely targets of hate crimes in America, according to an analysis of data collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
By Haeyoun Park and Iaryna Mykhyalyshyn
June 16, 2016


A recent investigation by The Associated Press found that thousands of city police and county sheriff’s departments had not filed a single hate crime report to the F.B.I. between 2009 and 2014.

Larger cities or cities with a more visible L.G.B.T. community are more likely to have procedures and training in place to detect and reduce hate crimes.

For example, in 2014 only one hate crime was reported for the entire state of Mississippi. In Connecticut, where L.G.B.T. people are arguably more visible and influential, 23 hate crimes based on sexual orientation were reported, Mr. Herek said.

In PubMed a database of research papers run by the National Institutes of Health there is a paper about,

When Love Meets Hate: The Relationship Between State Policies on Gay and Lesbian Rights and Hate Crime Incidence by Brian L. Levy and Denise L. Levy and they found (And keep in mind that this research was done before the escalation of bias crimes)…

This research also has implications for current social policy. In addition to the individual-level benefits that characterize current pro-equality arguments in the gay and lesbian rights debate, there are positive social externalities, such as a reduction in hate crimes, associated with pro-equality laws. Although public opinion on marriage equality remains fairly closely divided, the general public is, for the most part, not divided in its opposition to hate crimes. Thus, the potential for state policies to influence, if not serve as, societal forces in the production of hate crimes will be an important consideration for legislatures and courts deliberating marriage equality, hate crime, and employment nondiscrimination laws.

And now with the passage of all the anti-LGBTQ+ laws like the “Don’t Say Gay” law (For the purists, HB1557) the discrimination is even more pronounced.

The only reason why the Republican are against us is to rally their evangelical Christian base to vote. 

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