Lesko Protects Federal School Meal Programs from Woke Gender Ideology

Washington, July 13, 2022 | Andrea Hitt (202-251-6371)

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (AZ-08) introduced the Protecting Kids, Protecting Lunches Act to prohibit the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from denying funding for federal school meal programs to schools that do not promote the Far-Left’s gender ideology.

“I am deeply concerned that the Department of Agriculture could weaponize funding for children in need to advance the gender ideology of the radical Left,” said Congresswoman Lesko. “We have already seen proof that biological boys in girls’ school bathrooms threatens girls’ safety. I am proud to introduce this legislation to ensure that the Department of Agriculture cannot withhold funding for school meals because these schools refuse to allow boys in girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, sports, or showers.”

“We thank Representative Lesko for her leadership on this important issue and so many others,” said Carrie Lukas, Vice President of Independent Women’s Voice (IWV). “IWV applauds this bill – which takes a stand not just for students who rely on the school lunch program, but for all women and girls – and urges all members of Congress to work towards its swift passage.”

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it would interpret discrimination based on sex according to sexual orientation and gender identity. This legislation prohibits the Secretary of Agriculture from requiring that schools define sex-segregated spaces on the basis of gender identity, not biological sex, as a condition of receiving federal funding for free and low-cost meals for economically disadvantaged students. Congresswoman Lesko and her congressional colleagues have previous raised concerns with this policy to the USDA, but the USDA has failed to reverse its policy.

Lesko was joined by Representatives Louie Gohmert (R-TX-01), Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04), and Ralph Norman (R-SC-05), members of the Protect Kids Caucus, in introducing the legislation.

The Independent Women's Forum is joined by Family Research Council in supporting this legislation.


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