In A Flash

Louisiana House revives ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill with rare procedural move

By: - May 10, 2022 6:14 pm
Gay pride flag

A Louisiana House committee last week killed a proposal to prohibit teachers and school employees from discussion sexual orientation and gender identity in an academic setting, but lawmakers have revived the proposal through a seldom used procedure. (Canva image)

Conservatives in the Louisiana House of Representatives turned to a seldom used procedure Tuesday to bring a controversial education proposal back from the dead. With just two votes to spare, members revived a bill that would prohibit public school teachers and employees from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity with students.

The so-called “Don’t Say Gay” legislation from Rep. Dodie Horton, R-Haughton, failed to advance from the House Education Committee a week ago. Three Republicans joined Democrats in opposition in a 4-7 vote.

On the House floor Tuesday, Rep. Raymond Crews, R-Bossier City, asked his colleagues to discharge the rejected bill from  committee and move it before the Committee of the Whole, on which all representatives have a vote. Needing 53 members to support discharge the bill, the House voted 55-39 to back Crews’ motion.

Bills brought before the Committee of the Whole are handled much like any other proposal brought before a legislative panel. Representatives can bring supporters and opponents to testify during the bill’s hearing, a process that has never happened on the House floor to the recollection of longtime legislative watchers.

There was no immediate indication from House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, on when Horton’s bill would be scheduled for a hearing.

Louisiana’s “Don’t Say Gay” proposal is modeled after legislation that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law.



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Greg LaRose
Greg LaRose

Greg LaRose has covered news for more than 30 years in Louisiana. Before coming to the Louisiana Illuminator, he was the chief investigative reporter for WDSU-TV in New Orleans. He previously led the government and politics team for The Times-Picayune |, and was editor in chief at New Orleans CityBusiness. Greg's other career stops include Tiger Rag, South Baton Rouge Journal, the Covington News Banner, Louisiana Radio Network and multiple radio stations.