Headline RoundupMay 29th, 2023

Are Limits on Gender Treatments, School Discussions Protecting or Harming Kids?

AllSides Summary

A number of states with Republican leadership have recently passed bills placing restrictions on the performance of gender-related surgical procedures on minors, as well as bills increasing transparency in public schools, giving parents increased influence on classroom discussions and educational material. The wave of legislation, centered around cultural issues of race, gender, and sexuality, has split Americans, with many on the left questioning the altruistic language of the parental rights movement, and many on the right praising such legislation for its enforcement of conservative values and empowerment of parents. 

“Reactionary Minority”: Jamelle Bouie asserts the phrase “parental rights” is an empty term to advance conservative efforts to “ban books, censor school curriculums and suppress politically undesirable forms of knowledge.” Bouie argues the movement is the work of a “reactionary minority” only fighting for the rights of some parents, writing that parental rights legislation “never seems to involve parents who want schools to be more open and accommodating toward gender-nonconforming students” or parents who “want their students to learn more about race, identity and the darker parts of American history.”

“Defensive in Nature”: The National Review Editorial Board asserts parental rights legislation is a much-needed bulwark against “gender madness” from progressive Democrats, writing the parental rights movement is “defensive in nature.” The article commends politicians such as Florida’s governor and 2024 candidate Ron DeSantis (R) for advancing legislation that combats gender ideology, transgender procedures, and other social and cultural topics championed by progressive activists and called on conservatives to “take heed” of such issues.

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