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April 13, 2023
Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis recently announced his support for a bill that would ban any discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the public schools of the state of Florida.
Following DeSantis’ support, President Joe Biden on Tuesday spoke out directly against the bill while offering personal encouragement to LGBT students.
“I want every member of the LGBTQI+ community – especially the kids who will be impacted by this hateful bill – to know that you are loved and accepted just as you are,” the president tweeted. “I have your back, and my Administration will continue to fight for the protections and safety you deserve.”
Critics have called the legislation the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, but it passed the state Senate Education Committee along party lines on Tuesday. An almost identical version was proposed first in the Florida House of Representatives nearly a month ago.
The bill would stop school districts form “encouraging discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”
The bill’s advancement comes just a day after Gov. Ron DeSantis gave his support for the legislation, adding to reporters that it was “entirely inappropriate” for teachers to be discussing sexual orientation and gender identity with their students.
“Schools need to be teaching kids to read, to write,” DeSantis said at a Monday press conference. “They need to teach them science, history.”
The governor also cited examples of teachers telling students they did not have to worry about “picking their gender,” and he suggested that educators were keeping some classroom material from parents. The bill’s opponents have concerns that its passage would cause children of the LGBTQ community to be more marginalized.
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: VOA NEWS