Florida Expands ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law

Don’t Say Gay just keeps getting worse.

Florida’s Board of Education has voted to expand the state’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law to all school grades. This means that discussions on LGBTQ+ topics are effectively banned in all classrooms.

The Parental Rights in Education law, better known as the infamous Don’t Say Gay law, had initially only applied up until third grade. Three weeks ago, the board voted to expand it to eighth grade.

Yesterday, Don’t Say Gay was expanded to apply to all grades, kindergarten through 12th grade, banning all LGBTQ+ conversations across a student’s educational journey.

The expansion “prohibits classroom instruction to students in pre-kindergarten through grade three on sexual orientation or gender identity.” As for grades 4-12, sexual and gender identity conversations are barred as well unless “such instruction is either expressly required by state academic standards” or part of an optional sex ed class.

ABC reports that the recent amendment adds that topics cannot be carried out “in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

The language in this amendment has been criticized by activist groups for being intentionally vague. There are no clear parameters on what is banned and therefore queer teachers who mention their partner, or designate their classroom as a safe space for queer students could fear violating the law.

“Let’s put it plainly: this is part of the governor’s assault on freedom. Free states do not ban books. Free states do not censor entire communities out of the classroom,” a spokesperson for Equality Florida wrote in a statement, “Free states do not wage war on LGBTQ people to score cheap political points for a man desperate to be POTUS.

“This policy will escalate the government censorship sweeping our state, exacerbate our educator exodus, drive hardworking families from Florida, and further stigmatize and isolate a population of young people who need our support now more than ever.

“Shame on the DeSantis administration for putting a target on the backs of LGBTQ Floridians.”

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