George Santos and Marjorie Taylor Greene join forces for sinister anti-LGBTQ+ book ban

Composite image of Republicans Marjorie Taylor Greene and George Santos

Republican representatives George Santos and Majorie Taylor Greene are co-sponsoring a bill that could restrict students’ access to LGBTQ-themed books. 

According to LGBTQ Nation, the bill (HR 863) was filed by Florida Republican Cory Mills, who said on Twitter that it will “target the left’s efforts to sexualise children in schools across the US”. 

He added that “The battlefield for the future of our society is being fought within the classrooms of American schools.”

The description of the bill reportedly aims to “prohibit a publishing house from knowingly furnishing sexually explicit material to a school or an educational agency” and to “prohibit Federal funds from being provided to a school that obtains… sexually explicit material”.

Though the description does not specifically call out LGBTQ+ books, previous attempts to ban LGBTQ+ materials in class have done so based on the idea that queer education is “inappropriate” for young children.

Gay congressman George Santos, who has admitted to “embellishing” his education and employment history on his CV, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has previously attempted to ban trans youth healthcare, have both reportedly co-sponsored the bill that could restrict books with LGBTQ+ themes for American students.

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The bill has been sponsored by a total of seven representatives. 

The news comes as it was reported that almost half of books banned in US schools in 2021-2022 contained LGBTQ+ themes or characters.

A report by PEN America found that 2,532 instances of individual book bans had taken place across the US, with Maia Kobabe’s memoir Gender Queer, about growing up as non-binary and asexual, reported as the most-banned book. 

In second was another queer memoir, All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M Johnson

The research found 41 per cent of books were banned for simply featuring people who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community or explicitly addressing queer themes. 

Suzanne Nossel, chief executive officer of PEN America, said the recent wave of bans “represents a coordinated campaign to banish books” waged by “sophisticated, ideological and well-resourced advocacy organisations”. 

“This censorious movement is turning our public schools into political battlegrounds, driving wedges within communities, forcing teachers and librarians from their jobs and casting a chill over the spirit of open inquiry and intellectual freedom that underpin a flourishing democracy,” Nossel added.

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