Saturday, May 25, 2024

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wants Texas version of “Don’t Say Gay” law

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said this week he will prioritize passing Texas legislation that mimics the recently signed Florida Parental Rights in Education bill referred to by the mainstream media as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

That state’s new law prohibits classroom lessons on sexual orientation or gender identity for kids below the fourth grade or any instruction that is not “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate” for older students. It has come under heavy scrutiny as opponents of the bill say it will harm LGBTQ children.

While Texas’ next legislative session doesn’t start until January, the issue will be addressed in Education Committee hearings before then, Patrick said in a campaign email.

“I will make this law a top priority in the next session,” he said.

Enforcing Florida’s law falls to parents. A parent can sue a school district for damages if they believe it has broken the law. If they win, parents will receive money and recoup attorney fees. In Florida, the law’s supporters portrayed it as a way to give more rights to parents. Gov. Greg Abbott has similarly said parents should have more rights concerning their children’s education as he campaigns for a third term.

Val Benavidez, executive director of the Texas Freedom Network, said in a statement to The Texas Tribune that Patrick’s promise to bring similar legislation to the state is a “stain on Texas.”

“Gender expression by children is not something that is scary or harmful. What is scary is that political activists are grasping at power by overstepping into the lives of Texas families and education of students,” Benavidez said. “While politicians use hate speech that is far from center to harm our vulnerable youth, we will continue to love our children and make sure that all families are uplifted in public life.”

Patrick vowed to prioritize Texas legislation limiting lessons about LGBTQ people in a campaign email Monday with the subject “I AM DONE WITH DISNEY!” Patrick denounced The Walt Disney Company for publicly promising to help repeal the Florida law. After Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law last week, Disney published a statement saying the law should have never passed and that the company would support organizations fighting to have it repealed, according to a Variety article about the company’s stance.

In his email, Patrick links to a conservative news website purportedly “Exposing Disney’s ‘Gay Agenda.’” The site includes videos of an internal Disney staff meeting held after the bill passed in Florida obtained by Christopher Rufo, a conservative activist who in 2020 began using the term “critical race theory” publicly to denounce anti-racist education efforts.

One recording shows a Disney employee discussing adding more queer characters into company productions, according to National Review. Another shows an employee discussing the removal of gendered terms when greeting guests at Disney parks, according to FOX News. For example, instead of saying, “Hello, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,” the park employees may use “Hello, friends” or “dreamers of all ages.”

In his email, Patrick calls for parents to boycott Disney and stop their children from interacting with Disney products, lest the company “indoctrinate the children of America with their radical ‘woke’ views.” He also said he sold his personal Disney stock and encouraged his supporters to do the same.



This article was written by Brian Lopez and Emily Hernandez, and originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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