In recent years, several states have proposed or enacted so-called Don’t Say Gay laws. The stated purpose of these laws is to prevent discussion of LGBT issues in schools. However, the real effect of these laws is to further marginalize and isolate LGBT students, who are already at high risk for bullying and suicide.
Dont Say Gay Laws
The first “Don’t Say Gay” law was proposed in Tennessee in 2011. The bill would have prohibited teachers from discussing any form of sexuality other than heterosexuality in grades K-8. Similar bills were proposed in South Carolina, Missouri, and Colorado, but all failed to pass.
In 2013, Arizona became the first state to enact a “Don’t Say Gay laws. The Law Prohibits schools from offering any instruction or materials that discuss LGBT topics. This includes everything from discussions in class to displays in the hallway.
The problem with “Don’t Say Gay” laws is that they only serve to further marginalize LGBT students. These students are already at high risk for bullying and suicide, and these laws only make it harder for them to get the support they need.
What Are Don’t Say Gay Laws
There’s no such thing as a “don’t say gay law” in Canada. However, there are hate speech laws that prohibit the promotion of hatred against people based on their sexual orientation. So while you’re free to express your opinions about homosexuality, you can’t do so in a way that could lead to discrimination or violence against LGBTQ+ people.
In recent years, several Canadian provinces have passed laws banning so-called “conversion therapy” – the controversial practice of trying to change someone’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. These laws are designed to protect LGBTQ+ youth from being subjected to this harmful and discredited practice.
Why They Are Harmful
Conversion therapy is harmful because it tries to change something that is an essential part of a person’s identity. It also relies on the false premise that there is something wrong with being LGBTQ+. It can make people feel ashamed, guilty, and low in self-esteem as a consequence.
There is no evidence that conversion therapy works. It can often do more harm than good. If you or someone you know is considering conversion therapy, please reach out to a trusted Mental Health professional for support.
How to Challenge Them
If you’re facing discrimination or harassment because of your sexual orientation, there are a few things you can do.
- First, you can file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission in your province or territory. An investigation will be conducted and a resolution will be sought.
- You can also take legal action. You can sue the person or organization responsible for the discrimination, or file a human rights complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
- Finally, you can reach out to LGBTQ+ organizations for support and advice. These organizations can help you navigate the legal system and connect you with other resources.
Resources for More Information
If you need more information or support, there are a few organizations you can contact. In Canada, you can reach out to Egale Canada for advice and support. They also have a national helpline that you can call at 1-888-204-7777.
This is a serious matter, and it is not appropriate to use language that could be seen as making light of the situation. If you are writing about this topic, please do so with care and respect.
Don’t Say Gay laws are harmful and should be repealed. These laws do nothing but further marginalize LGBT students, who are already at a high risk for bullying and suicide. We need to repeal these harmful laws so that all students can get the support they need.