“Don’t Say Gay” Law Strikes Florida

Florida governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law the Parental Rights in education bill. In the media it has come to be known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The bill states that the “classroom instruction of by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarden to 3rd grade or in a manner that is not age-appropiate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” DeSantis signed this bill in March of 2022 making it a state law. DeSantis claims that teaching kindergarten students that they can “be whatever they want to be” is “ inappropriate in any place, but especially in Florida.” The legislation is meant to give power to parents and allow them to have more of a say in what is being taught to their children and sue schools if they think the law is violated. 


One of the problems that has arisen due to this law’s passing is that the definition of what is considered appropriate classroom discussion has not been clearly defined in the legislation. The definition of perimeters for the law is set to be determined by the state legislature one year after it takes effect on July 1st 2022. 


Another critique of this law is how it damages LGBTQ youth. The Trevor project, an organization that provides finacial and legal support for LGBTQ communities, has stood to say that the bill would erase LGBTQ identy, history and culture. They mention that in places where LGBTQ discussions are prohibited, they see higher suicide rates and health risks. Other organizations have gone on to sue Florida saying the law goes against their freedom of speech. When the law was first being promoted Disney was seen funding it, but after extreme social media backlash they vowed to revoke its funding.