ADDED ON: 03/27/2022

Republicans Are Furious That People Are Calling Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill a “Don’t Say Gay” Bill

2/26/02 | Slate

Earlier this month, the Florida state legislature passed a ban on certain classroom instruction about LGBTQ life. Critics have dubbed it a “Don’t Say Gay” bill, part of a class of anti-LGBTQ censorship legislation gaining steam across the country. The bill would allow parents to sue a school district if they believe a teacher has taught children in third grade or younger about “sexual orientation or gender identity,” or taught older students about such topics “in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate.” It would also force schools to notify parents if they begin providing support to queer or trans students who come out. Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law. Leaders of LGBTQ advocacy groups maintain that the bill is vague and broad enough to create a chilling effect among teachers and school administrators, such that none will want to risk potentially ruinous lawsuits by even mentioning the existence of gay or trans people in classrooms. But conservatives say Democrats and LGBTQ activists are making a big deal out of nothing. Republican officials and right-wing commentators deny that the bill is anti-gay and insist that it will neither discriminate against queer and trans students nor prohibit normal, age-appropriate discussion of LGBTQ culture and history. In a tweet this morning, Tim Carney, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, criticized “the media” for peddling a “false story” that the Florida bill “prohibits ‘discussion’ of sexual orientation.” In fact, the very first page of the bill’s text states as its purpose: “prohibiting classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels or in a specified manner.”


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