Congressman Mike Johnson (R-LA) Tuesday introduced the Stop the Sexualization of Children Act. The bill would prohibit any federal, state, local or private organization from using federal funds to “expose children under 10 years of age to sexually-oriented material.” Under the bill, certain depictions or descriptions of sexual activity or any topic involving gender identity or sexual orientation would no longer receive federal funding.
Under the bill, parents and guardians would “have the right and responsibility to determine where, if, when, and how their children are exposed to material of a sexual nature.” The bill provides parents the ability to bring a civil suit for injunctive relief against any government actor who violates the limitation. Additionally, if any government actor, or private entity receiving federal funds, receives two injunctions, their federal funding will be withheld for three years.
In a statement about the bill, Johnson specifically made reference to recent pushes from Planned Parenthood to institute sexual education curricula and events where drag queens perform or read books.
The Democrat Party and their cultural allies are on a misguided crusade to immerse young children in sexual imagery and radical gender ideology . . . [t]his commonsense bill is straightforward. No federal tax dollars should go to any federal, state, or local government agencies, or private organizations that intentionally expose children under 10 years of age to sexually explicit material.
Harvard Law Professor Alejandra Carabello criticized the bill saying it is a ban on any discussion of LGBTQ people in federally funded programs. She said:
I can’t overstate how radical the private right of action portion is. The bill is so broadly defined that a pediatric hospital could be sued for having a pride flag or a medical pamphlet about gender dysphoria. It deputizes anti-LGBTQ bigots to engage in bounty lawsuits.
— Alejandra Caraballo (@Esqueer_) October 18, 2022
33 other Republican representatives signed onto the bill alongside Johnson. The bill was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Committee on Education and Labor which will determine whether the bill advances for further consideration.