How Did Queer Kids Become the Battlefield For the Right’s Midterm Strategy?

Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, states barring transgender athletes from participating in sports and censoring school curriculums around queer and gender identity — a wave of anti-L.G.B.T.Q. legislation is spreading across the country, sustained in large part by the political right. According to the Human Rights Campaign, this year alone, more than 300 anti-L.G.B.T.Q. bills have been introduced in state legislatures.

Why has this issue become the focus of the Republican Party? And how is the way society treats individuals who identify as L.G.B.T.Q. changing?

In today’s episode, Jane Coaston convenes her Times Opinion colleagues, the columnists Ross Douthat and Michelle Goldberg, to debate this issue. Ross brings his conservative lens to the topic of L.G.B.T.Q. issues and Michelle shares a more liberal outlook. In the middle is Jane, who brings a deeply personal perspective to the table: “I think that a lot of these bills seem to spring from what I would say, a willful misunderstanding of how people like me became ourselves,” she says.

What are your thoughts on the recent anti-L.G.B.T.Q. legislation? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments on The New York Times website once you’ve listened to the debate.

Mentioned in this episode:

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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