A podcast host is pushing back against media portraying laws forbidding teaching sexual orientation and gender identity to young children.
Tellingly, his examples include a former private school teacher and coach arrested for sex crimes allegedly committed with a boy. Thomas Deane, 30, was arrested for two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, which added he was released Thursday after posting $100,000 bail.
According to a local NBC News affiliate, a mother notified authorities that her son met Deane on the dating app Grindr in December 2021. The two used Snapchat and the telephone and had several sexual encounters. The charges against Deane (shown below) narrow the boy’s age to younger than 16 but older than 12.
Florida was one of the first states in the nation to pass laws outlawing schools providing lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity. Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) has become a lighning rod for critics from LBGTQ advocacy groups, which have labeled his state’s legislation the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Gov. DeSantis has bristled at that nomenclature, challenging reporters who use the term to read the bill’s language before making that claim.
The Sunshine State’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill doesn’t forbid students from talking about gay people or LGBTQ issues; in fact, the bill does not even include the word “gay”. The language says schools may not instruct K-3rd grade students in sexual orientation or gender identity. It also requires schools notify parents every school year about each health-care service offered at school. The legislation gives parents the option to withhold consent or decline any specific service, according to an “Education Week” report.
The other teachers spotlighted by the podcast host hail from California, N. Carolina and Iowa — illustrating the problem exists in every corner of the country.
Conservatives who have expressed concern about children being “groomed” for sexual exploitation have been met with incredulity, if not disdain. Opponents claim they are using the issue of child safety as a bogeyman to further a political agenda against gay and transgender individuals.
For instance, a Monday “Washington Post” report questioned the motives of politicians passing legislation around the country that mirrored Florida’s bill.
Tuesday, “Vice News” began by saying, “Social conservative activists have resurrected an old strategy of invoking pedophilia to tar their pro-LGBTQ opponents.”
Posobiec tried to bring perspective to the theoretical argument being waged from ivory towers by providing current examples countering their argument.
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