Controversial Bill Set To Be Signed Into Florida Law


Hayden Gust

Florida’s Don’t Say Gay bill is being passed in other states, such as Flordia and Texas

Hayden Gust, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, March 8, the Florida Senate passed a bill restricting teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms from kindergarten to third grade or in a way that is not age or developmentally appropriate.

The controversial bill, named the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by opponents, is opposed by Democrats, who say its vague language can be extended to all grades.

But, Senate Republicans say that spontaneous discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity are okay in schools, and the bill is intended to prevent districts from integrating the subjects into the official curriculum.

This bill has caused outrage across Florida and surrounding states, resulting in multiple protests and walkouts.

The bill increased in popularity in the recent months, and Georgia is also looking to pass a similar bill that would “deter developmentally inappropriate classroom discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation.”

The bill has gotten national traction as well, getting the attention of the Biden administration. In a press release, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called the bill “horrific” and said it would lead to similar hateful policies.

Organizations such as the Humans Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida have taken a stand against the Don’t Say Gay bill. Another civil rights group, Equality Florida, has already vowed to sue the Florida State Government if this bill is signed into law and harms a single child.

Over this bill’s lifespan, it has had several amendments proposed by several different senators across the aisle.

One amendment proposed by Democrat Tina Polsky was to define sexual orientation and gender identity, which was denied.

Another amendment proposed by Republican Senator Jeffery Brandes and denied moved the boundaries of the bill to ban all talks on human sexuality, instead of just sexual orientation and gender identity.

Florida Governor DeSantis rejected the portrayal of the bill during a press conference. “How many parents want their kids to have transgenderism or something injected into classroom instruction?” DeSantis asked. “It’s basically saying for our younger students, do you really want them being taught about sex? And this is any sexual stuff. But I think clearly right now, we see a focus on transgenderism, telling kids they may be able to pick genders and all of that.”

DeSantis is on track to sign the bill, and if he does, it will go into effect on July 1.