Florida Senate Passes Controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law


Miami / 08.03.2022 15:33:29

The Florida Senate approved a controversial bill on Tuesday that prohibits teachers from discussing sexuality and gender identity in the classroom, a measure baptized by its detractors as “Don’t say gay” that is now heading to the desk of the state governor, Ron DeSantis, for his expected signature.

The project, officially called Parental Rights in Education, prevents teachers from addressing gender identity and sexual orientation between kindergarten and third grade. From that grade of primary education, both issues will be addressed in an “age-appropriate” way, according to the text of the project.

The approval in the state Senate is given after going ahead last month in the Lower House, both controlled by the Republican Party, and amid rejection by the Democratic opposition and groups in favor of LGBT+ groups, who have held protests in recent days against the initiative.

Its author, Republican Congressman Joe Harding, has defended the project on the grounds that it should be the parentsand not educators, who address these issues with their children, and hence the text prohibits such issues from being integrated into the official curricula developed by school districts. The text of the project It also allows parents to file lawsuits against school authorities.if they feel that these limits have been breached.

Democrats had tried unsuccessfully during Monday’s session of the state Senate floor modify part of the narrative of the project, considering that it was vague and overshadowed the discussions on LGBT+ issues, in addition to wanting to introduce some protections in favor of this group.

“Looks that in politics today we have gone down a path where we are afraid to step forward and to make sure we don’t hurt people,” Shevrin “Shrev” Jones, a Democrat, the son of a religious pastor and who in 2018 became Florida’s first openly gay senator, said on the floor Monday.

The approval of this Tuesday, with 22 votes in favor and 17 against, it is not a big surprise given that the project was part of the Republican agenda for this period of sessions, which will end this Friday, and had the approval of DeSantis, who had already welcomed the fact that the initiative protected minor students from sensitive issues such as these.

“We want to make sure that parents can send their kids to kindergarten without having some of these things injected into some of their school curricula,” DeSantis said at a news conference Monday.

A wave of protests took place in recent days in the state capital, in Tallahassee, where several schoolchildren and members of organizations in favor of the LGBT+ collective called for a vote against the measure, the which was criticized by the president of the United States himself, Joe Biden, who expressed concern about the negative impact it could have on young people.

After its approval this Tuesday, the spokeswoman for the White House, Jen Psaki, told the press that the Florida footsteps “are deeply concerning”He stated that it is a “hate” project and criticized that it has a “discriminatory nature” against LGBT+ children.


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