Opinion: Texas and Florida’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws are immoral

States with conservative congresses have passed laws that will severely affect young LGBTQ+ people


Ivy Ceballo / Tampa Bay Times / TNS

Moses May, 14, leads a student protest at Gaither High in Tampa, Florida, against what critics call the “Don’t Say Gay” bills, on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022.

Nikki Sisson, Marketing Manager

A gay student walks down the halls of her Florida school, upset because she knows her teachers aren’t allowed to talk about gay rights or LGBTQ people in classes. She doesn’t think it’s fair at all. She then gets a text from her trans friend in Texas, and he’s in trouble. 

Florida’s house of representatives passed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in February. This bill blocks students from learning about the LGBTQ+ community in schools it is now not going to be included in the curriculum for teachers. 

Texas Governor Greg Abbot has ordered state child welfare officials to launch child abuse investigations into reports of transgender kids whose parents support them and their transition. This goes for kids who are receiving gender affirming care and medical care. Abbot is asking other Texans to act as “watchdogs” and to report parents for abuse if they are supporting their child’s transition. 

President Joe Biden responded to the Texas anti-trans act in his State of the Union address on Mar. 1, “For our LGBTQ+ Americans, let’s finally get the bipartisan equality act to my desk. The onslaught of state laws targeting transgender Americans and their families is simply wrong. I said last year especially to our younger transgender Americans ‘I’ll always have your back as your president, so you can be yourself and reach your god given potential.’”

Laws and bills like these put young children in danger. According to the Trevor Project, LGBTQ+ youth are four times more likely to attempt, plan or consider suicide. With the government actively working against them, children will feel more outcasted and unaccepted, increasing their risk of suicide. This is not acceptable. Young children should not feel that suicide is their only option because their whole state is against them. 

Discriminating against any group of people is ethically incorrect, whether it be because of skin color, financial status or in this case, gender and sexuality discrimination. With these laws, young children are being targeted, not only limiting their education, but by threatening the safety of their home lives, as trans kids could be separated from their parents in Texas. These laws can be classified as direct discrimination. According to Amnesty International, direct discrimination is, “when an explicit distinction is made between groups of people that results in individuals from some groups being less able than others to exercise their rights.”

Americans are given certain, protected rights under the United States constitution. The 14th Amendment states that everyone born in the United States is a citizen, and that no state shall deny to any person the equal protection of the law. However, the “Don’t Say Gay” bill is limiting people’s freedom of speech, as there are now certain off limit topics to discuss in classrooms. Despite the Constitution never mentioning healthcare, the Fifth Amendment has been interpreted as the right to refuse medical treatment. This shows that Americans are legally allowed to make their own medical decisions based on what is best for them, not what the government does. This goes along with the anti-trans act in Texas, in which children are not only being separated from their parents, but being denied proper medical treatment needed for them to live their proper lives. 

Many argue that children are too young to learn about the LGBTQ+ community. However, heterosexual culture is forced on children from an extremely young age, through media, books, and even the clothes they wear as babies. If children can learn about straight relationships, why can’t they learn about gay relationships? It can help make them more accepting people and more open minded in the long run.

Another claim many people have is that trans children are too young to know who they are or what they want to be. In a study done by Kristina Olson, she found that both trans girls and girls who were born female identify as girls in equal measures. 

Overall, governments imposing these laws is harmful to children in many ways. This needs to be fixed as we can’t keep putting young children in more danger.