Volume XXIII

The Dangerous Consequences of Florida's "Don't Say Gay" Bill on LGBTQ+ Youth in Florida

by Meredith Johnson

In March 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law the Parental Rights in Education bill, better known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill (the Bill) by its opponents. According to the text of the Bill, its aim is to prohibit “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels” in Florida’s primary schools. The Bill is framed around the “fundamental rights of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children.” It even empowers and enables parents to take legal action against a school district to obtain a declaratory judgment that the school has violated the law. Joe Harding, the drafter and most prominent proponent of the Bill, stated that the purpose of the Bill is to “empower parents” and “create boundaries at an early age of what is appropriate in our schools.”

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