As Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would prohibit schools from even discussing LGBTQ sexual orientation or gender identity, advances through the state legislature, debate over the regressive policy is bringing out the worst opinions. And when it comes to bad opinions, who is more reliable than far-right pundit Ben Shapiro.
Shapiro, known for the quote “Facts don’t care about your feelings,” really feels that kids shouldn’t learn that gay people exist.
It started when Republican strategist Tim Miller commented on Twitter about a recent episode of Shapiro’s podcast.
Miller, a vocal Republican critic of former President Donald Trump, expressed his disappointment that Shapiro would want a gay man such as himself to effectively hide who he is under the new Florida bill.
Shapiro responded on Twitter:
“Yes, most parents are correctly more concerned about how they educate their 6-year-old children than they are about your personal feelings.”
"Your opinions and your children are of no consequence to him. And if you don't let him have his way, he will be very hurt. Because he is the priority, not your kids."
Shapiro presents himself as a Libertarian who wants minimal government intervention, and yet expects a very heavy hand from the government when it comes to LGBTQ+ people.
He opposed the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, saying after it was announced that “Laws don’t mean anything” because of it. He’s also tried to argue that a man and a woman do a better job of raising children than a same-sex couple, despite research proving otherwise.
Shapiro’s tweet got people riled up, and they responded with exactly what they thought of his opinion.
The Parental Rights in Education bill, better known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, would prevent schools and classrooms from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity. A new amendment to the bill would also require schools to out children who are anything other than straight to their parents within six weeks of discovery.
The bill is seen as a regressive step in social discourse and presents the idea of being LGBTQ+ as something to be ashamed of.
Which leads many to ask Shapiro, when should kids learn non-straight people exist?
One amendment would provide an avenue for parents to sue teachers and school districts if they don’t like what is being taught, which Shapiro also praised. This move to encourage vigilante lawsuits has become a popular tactic of right-wing bills, including Texas' 8 week abortion ban.