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The Queer Children’s Books Targeted by Conservative Lawmakers



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In 2022, three hundred and forty pieces of legislation in twenty-three states targeted L.G.B.T.Q. rights. The most high-profile was Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill—officially the Parental Rights in Education Act—introduced by Governor Ron DeSantis. The law limits the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in grade-school classrooms, including through the removal of books and other educational materials. DeSantis, of course, won a landslide reëlection contest in November, with parental rights as a central part of his platform. In July, when the “Don’t Say Gay” law was newly implemented, Jessica Winter joined Tyler Foggatt to discuss the history of queer children’s literature, why the right finds it so dangerous, and how its banning will affect the lives and education of young people.

This episode was originally released on July 14, 2022.

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