LGBTQ Rules Are Still Confusing to Many

 

The LGBT flag map of the United States of America, sourced from Wikimedia Commons, was created by Lokal_Profil for the USA Flag Map.svg and Fry1989 for the Gay flag.svg. The image was uploaded on September 14, 2011, at 21:41 (UTC). It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.

There are no anti-LGBTQ rules or policies in schools, and no anti-LGBTQ laws at the state or federal level.

What activists label as “anti-LGBTQ” are rules and laws that say “everyone” or “every student” must adhere to certain requirements or prohibitions.

President Biden and Vice President Harris have touted their pro-LGBTQ rights stance. The issue with discussions about LGBTQ rights, or other minority rights, is that LGBTQ and other minorities already possess full rights under the law. Consequently, enacting legislation or policies that specifically name LGBTQ or other groups is extending them additional rights while restricting the rights of people not named in the legislation.

In a report titled “20 states passed anti-LGBTQ legislation,” the Point Foundation, a foundation dedicated to empowering LGBTQ students, published a list of anti-LGBTQ laws identified by the American Civil Liberties Union. An examining the list, however, suggests that none of these laws or rules prevent LGBTQ students from participating in education, sports, or activities.

One example of allegedly anti-LGBTQ rules identified in the list is “11 bills include language prohibiting transgender and nonbinary or other gender-diverse students from joining sports teams that align with their gender identity.” These rules do not prevent LGBTQ students from participating in sports. They only stipulate that girls play sports with girls and boys with boys. A boy who identifies as a girl and changes his name to Sally would be allowed to play sports with other boys.

Nine bills allow staff at schools to deadname and use the wrong pronouns for students.” This is not an anti-LGBTQ rule. Students at schools are called by their legal names. And this is true for all students, regardless of orientation. If a boy named Tyler wants to be called Loretta, he will need to change his name legally. And if the teacher accidentally calls him Tyler, the student can remind the teacher that his legal name is Loretta now. If it really gets to be a problem, a complaint can be filed. But current legislation addresses all of this.

Forcing people to use specific pronouns is a violation of the First Amendment’s protections against forced speech.

Six bills specifically prohibit students from using bathrooms that align with students’ gender identities.” Correct, all students have to use the bathroom according to their birth gender. It is not an anti-LGBTQ rule. It applies to everyone.

“Two bills allow parents to remove any materials they personally deem inappropriate from classrooms or schools.” In addition to not mentioning LGBTQ, this statement accurately describes how parents have the right to influence their children’s education. In the US, there is no federal curriculum and there are very few federal requirements in schools. For the most part, each state has its own Department of Education responsible for setting education standards, curriculum frameworks, and assessment policies. School districts, which are typically organized at the county or municipal level, have considerable autonomy in determining curriculum, instructional materials, and educational programs. Local school boards, composed of elected representatives, usually parents, make decisions on behalf of the community regarding school policies and practices.

“Two laws forbid staff and administrators from addressing sexuality or gender in schools.” Once again, there is no mention of LGBTQ. Apparently, parents in those districts do not want sex taught in school. That is their choice, and parents are allowed, under US law, to influence what is taught in local schools.

“Two laws require staff and administrators to out their students’ sexuality.” This is an exaggeration. Some districts have rules requiring school staff to inform parents if a child is identifying as trans. This is not an anti-LGBTQ rule. It just says that parents have a right to know what is happening with their children.

“One law specifies that no speech, including anti-LGBTQ hate speech, is restricted on campuses.” This rule is not anti-LGBTQ. It is pro-free speech.

“A law that removes funding for diversity, equity, and inclusion programming, which commonly supports LGBTQ students.” This law is not anti-LGBTQ. It is anti-DEI programming.

From the list provided by the Point Foundation, it seems there are no laws or rules that are anti-LGBTQ. Examining problems faced by LGBTQ students in the GLSEN National School Climate survey on LGBTQ students, it appears the chief complaint among LGBTQ students is that other students do not accept them. And this is something that legislation cannot change. Additionally, the list of harassment and bullying complaints did not demonstrate that LGBTQ students were harassed or bullied at a greater rate than other students.

The GLSEN National School Climate survey on LGBTQ students states, “Most LGBTQ students have experienced harassment and discrimination at school.” However, this harassment does not appear to have been the result of school rules but rather fallout with classmates. The survey reports that 85 percent of LGBTQ students “experienced verbal harassment based on a personal characteristic.” And while this is unfortunate, every kid who ever attended school experienced “verbal abuse based on a personal characteristic.”

The survey doesn’t specify “verbal abuse because of being LGBTQ.” So, this includes the LGBTQ kid who was teased along with the fat kid, tall kid, awkward kid, late bloomer, early bloomer, weird kid…the kid who was too into dinosaurs or Dungeons and Dragons, or the kid who always wore a bowtie.

The survey also said that “Due to feeling unsafe or uncomfortable, nearly a third (32 percent) of LGBTQ students missed at least one day of school in the last month.” The question here is, were they actually unsafe, or did they feel that way? If they felt unsafe because of school policies requiring them to play sports in their birth gender, be called by their birth name, or parents being allowed to remove materials they found objectionable from the school, perhaps they just need some encouragement. But legislation won’t help.

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Dr. Antonio Graceffo, PhD, China MBA, is an economist and national security analyst with a focus on China and Russia. He is a graduate of American Military University.

You can email Antonio Graceffo here, and read more of Antonio Graceffo's articles here.

 

Thanks for sharing!