Kansas senator demands special parental advisories on TV shows exploring gender issues

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TOPEKA — U.S. Senator Roger Marshall wants a television oversight committee to expand a ratings system to warn parents about content on children’s programs about people wanting to be of the opposite sex.

The Kansas Republican joined four U.S. Senate colleagues in a letter urging the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board to push back against the “leftist sexual politics” embodied in Walt Disney Co.’s opposition to Florida’s “no say not gay” banning educators from delving into gender issues with children in kindergarten through third grade.

Marshall and US Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Mike Braun of Indiana, Steve Daines of Montana, and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota recommended that the board update guidelines include assessments on dysphoria-related content. genre so that parents or guardians can more easily prevent children from watching LGBTQ content.

In the past, the television council has focused on classifying programs in terms of obscene, violent or sexual content.

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“To the detriment of children, gender dysphoria has become sensational in popular media and on television with radical activists and entertainment companies. This radical and sexual sensation not only harms children, but also destabilizes and infringes on parental rights,” the senators’ letter reads.

The American Psychological Association has reported that some transgender people experience gender dysphoria, a form of psychological distress related to the difference between an individual’s gender assignment at birth and their gender identity. The condition must be associated with a clinically significant social, occupational, or other impairment to meet the diagnostic criteria.

Marshall’s letter continued, “The motivations of hyper-sexualized entertainment producers who strive to push this content onto young audiences are suspect at best and predatory at worst.”

The letter signed by Marshall also said parents across the United States should be outraged that educators address sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms.

In 1997, most broadcast and cable networks implemented the council’s television content rating system in response to public concerns about sexually explicit content, graphic violence, and on-screen profanity.

The Kansas Legislature and Governor Laura Kelly tangled last month over a bill that would have banned transgender girls or women from participating in school or college athletic programs in Kansas.

The Democratic governor vetoed the bill, but the House failed to get the two-thirds majority needed to overturn his decision. The Senate voted for a waiver.

GOP lawmakers in the House and Senate have said transgender athletes would have an unfair advantage if they competed in girls’ or women’s sports. Rep. Barbara Wasinger, a Republican from Hays, said identifying as transgender was evidence of a mental health issue in “confused people”.

Opponents of the bill said the ban was part of a political campaign to shame people and undermine the identity of transgender Kansans.

“If you disagree with who I am or who a young trans person is, speak to our creator,” said Rep. Brandon Woodard, a Lenexa Democrat and one of Kansas’ four LGBTQ lawmakers.

Kansas Reflector is part of States Newsroom, a grant-supported network of news outlets and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Kansas Reflector maintains editorial independence. Contact publisher Sherman Smith with any questions: info@kansasreflector.com. Follow Kansas Reflector on Facebook and Twitter.


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