It’s no secret that the political landscape in the USA is divisive and toxic in the extreme with even taking a life saving vaccine being seen as a political statement. Now it seems that displaying a Pride flag is the latest ‘issue’.
All across the US, schools are banning the displaying of the rainbow flag and teachers have even been suspended for protesting the bans or for talking about it in public.
The latest schools to join the campaign is one in Oregon and one in Utah where the school boards voted to ban Pride flags and Black Lives Matters flags or symbols in the classroom.
Brian Shannon, a school board member in Newberg, said: “We don’t pay our teachers to push their political views on our students. That’s not their place. Their place is to teach the approved curriculum, and that’s all this policy does, is ensure that’s happening in our schools.”
Unsurprisingly, LGBTQ+ advocates have ‘denounced the bans, arguing that removing pride flags from schools suggests that classrooms are no longer safe places for queer students’. They say it’s not about displaying any political leanings, being queer isn’t political in any way after all, it’s about feeling belonged and respected in the community.
President Joe Biden has said many times over that he is an ally and that he is dedicated to rolling back some of the harmful anti-LGBTQ+ laws that Trump introduced. This, of course, makes it seem like if you are an ally then you must be a Democrat.
By turns, all the anti-trans laws that are being introduced are in Republican held states and there are only a few politicians like Wyoming’s Liz Cheney for example (who’s sister is gay and married to a woman) who will speak up for LGBTQ+ people. Cheney is also the most outspoken Republican critic of Trump’s ‘big lie’. She once voted against equal marriage but said in a recent interview (see below) that she was wrong.