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Louisiana's Extreme 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Dies in Committee

Dodie Horton
Louisiana State Representative Dodie Horton

The bill would have prohibited discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-8 and would have barred teachers from revealing their identity to students.

Louisiana's "don't say gay" bill, even more extreme than the one passed in Florida, has died in committee.

The House Education Committee Tuesday voted 7-4 not to advance the bill, Lafayette, La.'s Daily Advertiser reports.

The legislation, sponsored by Republican Rep. Dodie Horton, would have banned classroom instruction or discussion regarding sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through eighth grade. It would have also barred any school employee or other presenter from revealing their own sexual orientation or gender identity to students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

"Unfortunately, some teachers are interjecting their own lifestyle choices into the classroom," Horton said in claiming such legislation was needed, according to the Advertiser. "[The bill] defines the line that has recently been blurred by some teachers to share their personal sexual identity and gender preferences with our children."

Some Louisiana clergy members had praised the measure. "We don't put the Ten Commandments on the wall because it's considered offensive; well, [discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity] is offensive to me," Rev. Mike Holloway of Ouachita Baptist Church in West Monroe testified to the committee, the Advertiser reports. "It creates confusion in children's minds and hardships in the home."

Democratic Rep. Patrick Jefferson inspired a moment of levity at the committee hearing when he asked if a student would be allowed to call anyone "Mr." or "Ms.," New Orleans TV station WDSU reports. Harper said the bill did not address such issues, drawing laughter from audience members. "That's all this bill has to do with," a person from the audience commented.

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