The “Don’t Say Gay Bill” Passes In the Florida House of Representatives

Ava Garcia, Staff Writer

On Thursday, Feb. 24, Florida’s House of Representatives passed a bill, widely known as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill,” which would limit the discussion of LGBTQIA+ related topics within schools.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis previously expressed his support for the legislation, which led those who oppose this bill to worry as DeSantis plans to run for reelection as a 2024 candidate.

This bill prevents students from kindergarten through 3rd grade to receive any form of instruction on gender identity or sexual orientation-based topics. Those in higher grade levels need to be seen as “age or developmentally appropriate,” in order to receive information on these topics.

In January, The House Education & Employment Committee made another version of the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” that allows parents to sue if they believe the rules of the bill were violated. An amendment to this bill was also proposed last Friday, stating that school officials are required to inform parents of a student’s gender or sexual identity within six weeks of finding out.

This bill is only one of many, restricting the discussion of LGBTQIA+ topics. State legislators have filed more than 170 anti-LQBTQ bills this year, topping the 139 total bills last year.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently expressed his opinions regarding transgender youth. Abbott urged professionals and citizens to report the parents of transgender youth to state officials if minors appear to receive gender-affirming care. This also included a letter he sent on Tuesday to the Department of Children and Protective services, advising them to conduct thorough investigations of any reported cases. 

As this bill advances and becomes enforced, people continue to share their vastly different ideologies which either support or deny the passing of this bill. The Biden Administration denounced the efforts of the passage of anti-LGBTQIA+ bills. The White House recently expressed how Florida Politicians “rejected those basic values” by passing this bill. They also made clear the fact that this effort does not only include Florida but an abundance of states across the country.