Washington, D.C. — Today, the Florida Legislature passed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which will prohibit any discussion about LGBTQI+ issues or people in classrooms and undermine existing protections for LGBTQI+ students in schools. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has indicated that he will sign the bill into law. Sharita Gruberg, vice president of the LGBTQI+ Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response:
This cruel legislation is a blatant attempt to erase, stigmatize, and silence LGBTQI+ people; censor America’s public schools; and undermine the expertise of trained educators. By banning certain content, lawmakers are disregarding the rights of parents who want their children to learn a meaningful and accurate curriculum in a safe and supportive environment that does not violate their civil rights. Rather than helping Floridians to address legitimate, pressing needs, lawmakers in the state have instead chosen to target the most vulnerable members of our society—children—and advance a dangerous, propagandist bill that most Florida voters oppose.
Sadly, this bill is one of many legislative attacks currently being aimed at the LGBTQI+ community. We are witnessing an onslaught of anti-LGBTQI+ bills across the country; and the need for consistent, comprehensive nondiscrimination protections at the federal level has never been clearer. One year after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, it’s past time for the Senate to follow through on the promise of the highly popular bill and ensure that all people—including LGBTQI+ communities—are protected equally under the law.
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