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Tipsheet

GOP Bill Would Block Federal Funds for Sexually Explicit Programs Aimed at Children

Last week, House Republicans introduced legislation that would prohibit the use of federal funds for sexually explicit programs aimed at children.

The legislation, “Stop the Sexualization of Children Act” would prevent tax dollars from funding events for children, like “Drag Queen Story Hour” events and instruction radical gender theory.

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“State and local library systems, museums, and other educational institutions that receive Federal grants have purchased sexually-oriented literature and materials that target preadolescent children and teach them about concepts like masturbation, pornography, sexual acts, and gender transition,” the bill reads. “Private organizations, State government agencies, and local government agencies have made use of Federal grants to host and promote sexually orientated events like drag queen story hours and burlesque shows.”

“It is the sense of Congress that – (1) parents and legal guardians have the right and responsibility to determine where, if, when, and how their children are exposed to material of a sexual nature: and (2) Federal funds should not be used to expose children under 10 years of age to sexually-oriented material.”

Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), who led the legislation, said that “the Democratic Party and their cultural allies are on a misguided crusade to immerse young children in sexual imagery and radical gender ideology.”

“This commonsense bill is straightforward,” he said, adding that “no federal tax dollars should go to any federal, state or local government agencies, or private organizations that intentionally expose children under 10 years of age to sexually explicit material.”

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According to a press release from Johnson’s office, 33 Republican Members of Congress sponsored the legislation. It allows parents to file a lawsuit against any public or private entity that uses federal dollars to expose their young children to sexually explicit materials or programs. Any organization that violates the law more than once in a five-year period would lose access to federal funds for three years.

NPR described the legislation as the “national ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill,” named after the Florida Parental Rights in Education legislation signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) this year. 

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Predictably, several LGBTQ+ rights organizations came out against the legislation. Human Rights Campaign Government Affairs Director David Stacey issued a statement claiming that “extremist House Republicans like Mike Johnson are continuing their assault on LGBTQ+ Americans’ ability to live their lives openly and honestly.” Stacey added that the Act is a “cruel attempt” to “stigmatize and marginalized”LGBTQ+ people and “rile up their extremist base.” Stacy didn’t acknowledge that the bill is designed to protect children under 10 years old. 

Erin Reed, an activist for the LGBTQ+ community, reportedly said that Florida’s Parental Right law was “bad enough,” but Johnson’s bill goes “WAY beyond the classroom, and way beyond ‘instruction.’” Perhaps it does, because it protects children from indoctrination.

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