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Florida Senate Bill Could Ban Books With LGBTQ+ Characters

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 Senate Education Committee on Tuesday advanced a bill that would establish review procedures for instructional materials, with a requirement school district superintendents certify to the state Department of Education that all teaching content aligns with state standards.Opponents of the bill say it would empower anti-LGBTQ+ parents to challenge books featuring queer characters and topics in Florida public schools.Members of the public alleged during the committee meeting that books and other material with LGBTQ+ representation will lead to gender confusion and traumatize children.“We need to know what’s going into our kids’ brains,” parent Jennifer Showalter said during the committee meeting.The bill was sponsored by Sen.

Joe Gruters, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, and passed on a party-line vote. Gruters maintained the legislation will simply illuminate what content children get exposed to in school. “The purpose of this bill is about transparency,” he said, “not to censor anything.”But clearly, many parents in favor of the bill arrived in Tallahassee fearful of school content that teaches students that LGBTQ+ people exist.Karen Moran, speaking for the group Best SOS America, brought with her a copy of Theresa Thorn’s “It Feels Good To Be Yourself,” a book about school-age children of varying gender identities.

She read a section of the book on a nonbinary child and alleged the book would confuse children about their own gender identities.

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