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Week after 'Don't Say Gay' bill gains passage in Florida, similar law proposed in Louisiana

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BATON ROUGE - Just over a week after Florida legislators passed a controversial bill regulating the discussion of sexual orientation in classrooms, a Louisiana lawmaker has submitted a similar proposal. 

The bill, submitted by Representative Dodie Horton, would "prohibit discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity" in K-8 classes and keep instructors from discussing their own sexual orientation or gender identity with students in grades K-12. 

"I wasn't aware of the need [for this legislation] until I looked at some things on Twitter and Facebook," Horton told WBRZ Thursday. "It just solidified for us to protect our Louisiana children, as well."

The proposal echoes recent legislation passed in Florida—coined the "Don't Say Gay" bill by its opponents—that stirred up controversy nationwide and was harshly criticized by pro-LGBTQ groups.

Horton, a Bossier Parish Republican, said the Florida law spurred her bill. 

"I started to pray about how we could protect our children here from inappropriate conversations until they are able to dissect it and old enough to understand it," Horton explained. "I talked to my pastor and he challenged me and said, 'we definitely need to do this.'"

Governor John Bel Edwards' office released the following statement in response to the bill, reiterating comments made by the governor during Monday's State of the State address. 

“Some of the bills being brought up this session do nothing to make lives better. Nothing to continue moving us forward. They only serve to divide us. And frankly, some are reminiscent of a dark past that we should learn from, not relive.”


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