Missouri GOP goes 'a step further than Florida' and proposes 'most extreme Don't Say Gay bill': report

Missouri GOP goes 'a step further than Florida' and proposes 'most extreme Don't Say Gay bill': report

Missouri State Senator Mike Moon (R-29th District) is pushing a bill that would ban all Missouri school staffers from engaging in discussions around gender identity and sexual orientation, with "exceptions for licensed mental health providers who have permission" from parents or guardians, Springfield News-Leader reports.

The proposed bill, which mirrors Florida Governor Ron Desantis' "Don't Say Gay" bill — but "takes it a step further," according to Springfield News-Leader — would prohibit discussions for "all grade levels through high school."

Florida's bill only includes kindergarten through third grade, NPR reports.

READ MORE: 'The worst anti-trans bill I have ever seen': GOP-led state houses are ramping up efforts to gut LGBTQ+ rights

Executive director of LGBTQ rights advocacy group PROMO Missouri, Katy Erker-Lynch, told Springfield News-Leader the legislation "follows the lead of Florida's" bill "but does so with broader impact and implications" than any other law across all 50 states.

The organization referred to Moon's bill as the "most extreme 'Don't Say Gay' bill in the United States."

Per Springfield News-Leader, Moon's bill would likely ban Missouri schools from "discussing or teaching books that include LGBTQ+ themes or characters, LGBTQ+ history in Missouri and the United States, or even speaking to students about bullying or harassment if it was related to sexual orientation or gender identity."

During a hearing this week for the bill, Moon insisted "the media is not telling the truth" about his intention behind the bill. "These discussions and conversations will not be had," he said. "This bill is not intended to promote hate of a certain group.... I don't purport myself to be a bigot, I am not."

READ MORE: Wisconsin Republicans strike down state ban on LGBTQ+ conversion therapy

While many conservatives support the legislation, officials from state associations of social workers and school counselors oppose the bill due to its potential to overwhelm "many of their members, who are not licensed mental health providers, with their hands tied to help students," Springfield News-Leader reports.

The senator argued that the bill "is about protecting vulnerable children." But some advocates protest that it "would harm LGBTQ+ students who don't have an adult they're comfortable speaking with about their identity."

Additionally, Missouri Democratic Sen. Greg Razer, an openly gay lawmaker disagrees with that sentiment. "I don't know what vulnerable child you're trying to protect, but it sure wasn't me," he said.

Razer continued, "I don't think I've ever felt more disrespected by a single piece of legislation than this one. You are erasing me as a human from our public schools, saying I can't even be discussed."

READ MORE: DeSantis slams Disney CEO for opposing Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill

The Springfield News-Leader's full report is available at this link. NPR's is here.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by fontsempire.com.