SCOTUS leak was just one example of GOP's clear threat to LGBTQ rights last week
A House Republican introduced a national "Don't say gay"bill. And Senate Republicans pushed for LGBTQ content warnings on television.
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The leaked draft last week from the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade offered a road map for how the court could overturn marriage equality and other LGBTQ rights.
And in that same week, though it got far less attention, Republicans in Congress also attacked queer people with a vengeance. As anti-trans bills, “don’t say gay” bills and other anti-LGBTQ legislation are moving in states across the country — there are over 300 anti-LGBTQ bills in over 35 state legislatures — Republicans in Congress are picking up on the same themes.
It’s true that efforts in Congress will go nowhere with Democrats currently in control of both chambers, and with President Biden in the White House. But these actions surely give us a preview of what Republicans will be doing if they get control of one or both chambers of Congress, teeing up for 2024 when they hope to have both and put a Republican in the White House.
You better believe it will be non-stop hearings on the “dangers” of gender-affirming medical care, and the “agenda” by teachers to “groom” children into “sexual predation.” So, we ignore them at our own peril.
New Jersey Republican Congressman Jeff Van Drew introduced an odious bill last week that would force schools nationally to get parental consent for any “lessons specifically related to gender identity, sexual orientation, or transgender studies.” You’ll remember Van Drew as the turncoat Democrat: He won his New Jersey seat in the Democrats’ blue wave of 2018 in a Trumpy district previously held by a Republican, and then switched parties and became a Republican. That was after he cowardly opposed Trump’s first impeachment — engaging in a quid pro quo in the form of getting a Trump endorsement and lots of fund-raising for his 2020 race in return.
The bill, which would instill fear in students, teachers and administrators nationwide if ever passed, mirrors Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s “Don’t say gay” bill. It similarly is designed solely to help Van Drew keep the MAGA base excited and turning out for him.
MAGA-fueled Senate Republicans, meanwhile, pushed last week for parental guidance warnings from television networks regarding any LGBTQ-related content.
Sens. Roger Marshall of Kansas, Mike Lee of Utah, Mike Braun of Indiana, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and Steve Daines of Montana co-signed a letter written to the TV Parental Guidance Monitoring Board. It basically amounts to a “Don’t say gay” bill far beyond schools and reaching into American broadcasting, as extremist Republicans push their grotesque “groomer” lies and now move to pressure popular culture.
The letter is absolutely chilling, and again offers a preview of the kind of quack-science-based, evangelical-driven hearings we’ll see in the Senate if the GOP takes control:
Considering that the cognitive markers of sexual desire emerge during puberty when adolescents undergo natural hormonal and physiological changes, it is wholly inappropriate to display this content in a TV-Y7 category and for other young audiences.
This dialogue often involves the promotion of irreversible experimental treatments that involve surgical and otherwise invasive cosmetic procedures that are detrimental and life-altering, and do not evidence medical necessity. The motivations of hyper-sexualized entertainment producers striving to push this content on young audiences are suspect at best and predatory at worst.
Right there with the word “predatory” they’re picking up on the QAnon conspiracies that they know will thrill their base, and putting out the same “anti-groomer” message that DeSantis’s press secretary claimed the “don’t say gay” bill truly was meant to be.
While the Supreme Court’s leaked draft rightly dominated media coverage, including its impact on the court’s direction on marriage equality, the fact that GOP members of Congress — the hard-core extremists — plowed right through on these issues should be a warming to all of us.
Just like Alito in his draft, they are high on power, hellbent on moving full-speed ahead and cannot be reigned in by anyone else among them. And that’s another reason why we must galvanize people in the mid-terms and stop them from gaining control.