White House press secretary Jen Psaki slapped down Fox News reporter Peter Doocy — again — on Monday when she asked if he could name any sex education program in a Florida kindergarten that would justify the state’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law.
Doocy had pressed Psaki on the Biden administration’s opposition to the highly controversial law, which bans discussion of gender identification and sexual orientation in classrooms from kindergarten through third grade.
In a peculiar question, Doocy asked, “Does the White House support that kind of classroom instruction before kindergarten?”
Psaki shot back: “Do you have examples of schools in Florida that are teaching kindergarteners about sex education?”
“I’m just asking for the president’s opinion …” Doocy started to respond.
Psaki: “I think that’s a relevant question” because the law is nothing more than a “politically charged, harsh law that is putting parents and LGBTQ+ kids in a very difficult, heartbreaking circumstance.”
She said the White House thinks the law is a reflection of “politicians in Florida propagating misinformed, hateful policies that do absolutely nothing to address the real issues.”
Psaki responded that the U.S. Department of Education is weighing next steps, including possible action against the measure for violating federal civil rights law.
Several LGBTQ advocacy groups and families filed a joint federal suit against the law Thursday, arguing that it is unconstitutional and has already begun to harm children and families.
But the law could be far more universal than many initially imagined.
The Florida law, in fact, does not mention the word “gay” in the text in a weak effort to skirt the Constitution. And since it now bans addressing gender identity and sexual orientation issues in lower grades, the law could convincingly be understood to apply to all sexual orientation and genders.
A satirical letter circulating among Florida teachers suggests now referring to all students as “they” and “them” to avoid risky “gendered pronouns” like “he” and “she.” Also “Mr.” and “Mrs.” would have to be eliminated for teachers, according to the letter.
Twitter wags responding to the letter also raised other issues: Will the words “boys” and “girls” have to be eliminated from school bathrooms? What happens to “female” and “male” sports teams? “If “Heather Has Two Mommies” can’t be read in the classroom, then books like “Fun With Dick and Jane” (and their presumably heterosexual parents) should also be banned, noted critics.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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