The insurance giant State Farm has dropped a plan to provide LGBTQ books to schoolchildren as young as 5 in Florida.
According to The Washington Times on Tuesday, the insurer abandoned its partnership with GenderCool after critics ripped the company for sexualizing youngsters.
“State Farm’s support of a philanthropic program, GenderCool, has been the subject of news and customer inquiries. This program that included books about gender identity was intended to promote inclusivity,” the company told the Times in a statement.
“We support organizations that provide resources for parents to have conversations about gender and identity with their children at home. We do not support required curriculum in schools on this topic,” State Farm added. “As a result, we have made the decision we will no longer be affiliated with the organization.”
The Times noted that State Farm was seeking six of its agents in Florida “to deliver their local teacher, community center, or library of their choice” a bundle of three LGBTQ-themed books. The plan was revealed on Monday by the group Consumers Research, which obtained a memo from January when State Farm explained its intentions.
In that internal memo, State Farm Corporate Responsibilty Analyst Jose Soto said, “State Farm is partnering with The GenderCool Project to help diversify classroom, community center and library bookshelves with a collection of books to help bring clarity and understanding to the national conversation about Being Transgender, Inclusive and Non-Binary,” reads the email to employees. “The project’s goal is to increase representation of LGBTQ+ books and support our communities in having challenging, important and empowering conversations with children Age 5+.”
“This is a fantastic way to give back and an easy project that will help support the LGBTQ+ community and to make the world around us better,” Soto added in the email to employees.
Eventually, State Farm wanted 550 agents across the country to participate.
The Times described GenderCool as a “youth-oriented transgender advocacy group,” which “has published three guides for ages 5+, titled ‘A Kids Book About Being Transgender,’ ‘A Kids Book About Being Inclusive,’ and ‘A Kids Book About Being Non-Binary.’”
The date of Soto’s email ws Jan. 18, which was a week after Florida state Rep. Joe Harding, a Williston Republican, filed the Parental Rights in Education bill, which Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law on March 28.
The new law, which takes effect on July 1, bans school districts and classroom teachers from implementing lesson plans about sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.
The conservative Twitter account Libs of Tik Tok posted a copy of an email State Farm circulated on Monday. In that email, the company said its program was supposed to “promote inclusivity.
Yet, it added, “Conversations about gender and identity should happen at home with parents. We don’t support required curriculum in schools on this topic.”
State Farm also noted that while it axed GenderCool, it also would “continue to explore how we can support organizations that align with our commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
In a social media video posted Monday, Consumers Research, which states that it is an educational nonprofit that seeks to better inform consumers, noted, “State Farm tells us they’re a good neighbor. But would a good neighbor target five-year-olds for a conversation about sexual identity? That’s what State Farm is doing.”
Consumers Research President Will Hild tweeted Monday that the insurance giant “must take immediate action to reverse the indoctrination campaign they pushed on American children.”
In an interview, he told Newsmax, “It’s too little, too late. They’ve done real damage to America’s families, to America’s children. They need to make that right, they need to fix that, and until they do, the idea that they’re anything except a self-interested, creepy neighbor is just absurd.”