Florida Expands Their ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Policy

By Taylor Rice

Ron DeSantis, Republican Florida Governor, makes more moves against the LGBTQ+ community as he prepares for his expected presidential run. On Wednesday, April 19, the Florida Board of Education approved an expansion on what critics dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law. 

Lessons and discussions about gender identity and sexual orientation were already banned by the law in Kindergarten through 3rd grade. The expansion would ban lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity from grades 4 through 12. According to the amendment, “For Grades 4 through 12, instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited unless such instruction is either expressly required by state academic standards … or is part of a reproductive health course or health lesson for which a student’s parent has the option to have his or her student not attend.” 

Manny Diaz Jr. is an Education Commissioner. He made a statement, saying, “We’re not removing anything here…All we are doing is we are setting the expectations so our teachers are clear: that they are to teach to the standards.”

The proposal will go into effect after the procedural notice period, which will take about a month. 

The expansion of the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law is not the only thing Florida has recently done to the LGBTQ+ community. 

The House sent DeSantis another bill that bans children from “adult live performances”; strikingly similar to Tennessee’s anti-drag bill. The new piece of legislation would revoke the food and beverage licensees of the businesses that admit children to adult performances. The DeSantis administration has already made multiple moves to take away the liquor licenses of businesses which held drag shows that children were allegedly present for.

The House also passed a bill prohibiting people from entering bathrooms that are different from their sex assigned at birth. 

These future laws and restrictions are getting out of hand; they will negatively impact people in Florida and other areas that target the LGBTQ+ community. 

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