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Stop the Sexualization of Children Act is Bad News for Sexual Expression

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — October 19, 2022 — Washington, DC

Yesterday, a member of the House GOP introduced a bill that threatens to deny schools, libraries and museums federal funding for discussing LGBTQ+ issues or providing even basic sex education to children. While it’s tempting to draw a comparison to Florida’s noxious Don’t Say Gay bill, this is much worse.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana and co-sponsored by over 30 House Republicans, effectively bans any material that so much as describes human sexual activity, or any topic that touches on gender identity or sexuality — defining them all as “sexually oriented material.” This bill claims that state and federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, have in the past used federal funds to promote and host “sexually-oriented events” like drag queen story hours or burlesque shows for children and families. According to the bill:

The term ‘‘sexually-oriented material’’ means any depiction, description, or simulation of sexual activity, any lewd or lascivious depiction or description of human genitals, or any topic involving gender identity, gender dysphoria, transgenderism, sexual orientation, or related subjects.

Under the bill, libraries would be forced to remove books on human reproduction, teachers banned from talking about consent, and museum directors forced to shutter Pride exhibits. School therapists would not be able to provide resources on child sexual abuse. Any school that violates these rules can be sued by a parent and lose federal funding.

This bill is an assault on children. Rep. Mike Johnson demonizes the LGBTQ+ community as a pedophile threat, but he’s the true abuser. His bill denies children the basic facts about their bodies and families, and creates a climate of fear and shame among schools and students. In the name of “parental rights” and “religious liberty,” it erases the very existence of LGBTQ+ people — not to mention students.

Perhaps that’s the ultimate goal. The censors are using a dystopian fantasia of lunchroom strippers to remove books from classrooms and topics from lesson plans, but they’re hoping that they can remove sex from the public square all together — and with it, any discussion of feminism, bodily autonomy, reproductive rights, sexual self-determination and other roadblocks to a theocratic state.

Children are the future, and censors across the country are hoping that if they can indoctrinate them early — make them feel shame and fear about their bodies and their identity — they can keep them that way for life.

We can’t let that happen.


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