Anti-LGBTQ hate surged online following the passage of a Florida law that limits classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity, a new report found. This particular surge involves rhetoric implying that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people are “grooming” children and includes such slurs as “groomer,” “pedophile” and “predator” in relation to the LGBTQ community.
The month after the Florida Senate passed the Parental Rights in Education bill, or what critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, on March 8, tweets mentioning the LGBTQ community alongside these slurs increased 406%, according to the report, which was conducted by the LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign and the nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate.
The law, which took effect July 1, bans instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity “in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
To evaluate the increase in rhetoric related to “grooming”, researchers collected a sample of 989,547 tweets that were posted between Jan. 1 and July 27 and that mentioned the LGBTQ community alongside words including “groomer” and “pedophile.” They found that an average of 6,607 tweets a day used such rhetoric in the month after the bill passed, a significant increase from 1,307 tweets the month before.
British actor calls for change in blood donation rules
A Manx Netflix star has called for an “archaic” rule that forbids gay men from donating blood to be changed. Joe Locke, who featured in the drama Heartstopper, made the comments in a video message played at Saturday’s annual pride event. He called on politicians to adopt UK rules allowing men who have had sex with men to give blood.
Isle of Pride committee member Clare Barber MHK supported his call for the “forever ban” to be overturned. Since 2017 men in the UK who have not had sex with another man for three months are allowed to donate blood, with anyone with the same sexual partner for three months or more eligible to donate since last year.
Report says Catholic church in Switzerland excludes LGBT people
The Swiss Bishops’ Conference published a document this week for the upcoming Synod on Synodality in Rome reporting the Catholic Church was seen as suffering from clericalism —as well as “denying equality to women” and excluding “people with LGBTQ identity.”
“Several official church positions on the role of women in church and society, on sexuality and lifestyles are perceived as pejorative and exclusionary,” the Swiss report said according to CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner.
“The Synodal Assembly of Switzerland, held on May 30, 2022, in Einsiedeln Abbey, finalized the report based on comments and requests for adjustments,” the bishops explained. “This assembly had the task of combining the reports that emerged from the diocesan phase of the synod into an overall national report.” The document says nothing about the number of participants in the surveys that were to be part of the worldwide synodal process.