Texas: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Says Florida-Style Anti-Grooming Bill A “Top Priority” Next Legislative Session

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Now that Florida has passed its controversial Parental Rights in Education bill — errantly nicknamed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by opponents — Texas’ Lieutenant Governor says he’s eyeing similar legislation for the Lone Star State.

In a Monday campaign email, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told supporters that he plans to make such a law “a top priority in the next session, The Dallas Morning News reported.

“This issue will be addressed in our interim Education Committee hearings under Parental Rights,” the Republican, who is seeking reelection, wrote.

Florida’s bill, which bans sexuality instruction in younger grades or in an inappropriate manner for older grades, does not explicitly mention any gender or sexual identity in particular, despite the nickname from opponents.

Patrick also hopes to take aim at questionable library books, something with Florida Republicans have also tackled this year.

The Dallas Morning News notes that Patrick has asked his state’s Senate Education Committee to examine how books are picked for school libraries and to explore how to ensure that all titles are age appropriate.

Sexuality education and sexually explicit books in school libraries have been big sticking points for Republican lawmakers as parents have raised alarm about what they are finding in their children’s school assignments and on-campus libraries.

Last year, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin successfully focused on parental rights in his campaign against Democrat challenger Terry McAuliffe as high-profile conflicts between parents and the Loudoun County, Virginia school board captured headlines.

Patrick and DeSantis, like Youngkin, have emphasized the role that parents ought to play in what their children are being taught and given access to at schools, a point which is likely to resonate with voters come November and beyond.

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