Tennessee, Arizona, and Arkansas, all of which are Republican dominated, have or are in the progress of passing hateful and discriminatory bills. Tennessee’s slate of hate (bills that discriminate against LGBTQ+ people in various ways), Arizona’s recent SB 1456, and Arkansas’s SB 289 (allows for health care workers to refuse non-emergency treatment of LGBTQ+ people, usually in the name of religion…). For now, I will just focus on Arizona. Arizona’s SB 1456, Republicans have always have been trying to (if they haven’t done so already) attack education, especially sexual education.
Sexual education courses for minors already require parent permission, but our lovely Arizona Republicans want to take it a step further. Sexual orientation, sexuality, HIV and AIDS, anything that involves LGBTQ+ people, is treated separately from sexual education. As a result, parents need to provide permission at any moment anything relevant to LGBTQ+ will be mentioned, each and every time the teacher decides to cover that topic. So, teachers won’t be able to talk about the Stonewall riots, safe sex for LGBTQ+ students. It’s already evil to strip away the rights of LGBTQ+ people, but it’s outright fascist to make try and keep us invisible.
To think that LGBTQ+ children won’t be able to see themselves in any educational course is saddening and undoubtedly going to cause long-term harm. Republicans really love their propaganda; just a few months ago, Republicans have tried to rewrite history in regard to the hateful legacy of the Confederacy, segregation and systemic racism, all of which runs deep in American history. They did this by threatening to cut school funding to schools that don’t teach the way Republicans want them to, which is to glorify patriarchal white supremacy, and that America is 100% great, and that racism doesn’t exist because we’re just so great and perfect! (They even came up with something called the “Patriotic Education Fund”; Republicans really do not know what patriotism really is)