Slacker’s Syllabus: Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill

Wilfredo Lee/AP/Shutterstock
Wilfredo Lee/AP/Shutterstock

2022 is another hot mess.

This week, Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature passed its “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Now, the bill heads to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who signaled his support of it last month.

The bill has been condemned by state and national Democrats. During the Florida Senate’s debate, state Sen. Annette Taddeo said, “This is going to endanger the safety of our LGBTQ students and adolescents.”

So what is the Don’t Say Gay Bill?

What is the “Don’t Say Gay” bill? What is the “Don’t Say Gay” bill? What is the “Don’t Say Gay” bill? What is the “Don’t Say Gay” bill?

Officially known as “H.B. 1557: Parental Rights in Education”, the bill prohibits “classroom discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity” in elementary schools.

The ban applies up to the third grade. It also allows parents to sue school districts for any alleged violations.

It’s basically another way for conservatives to target LGBTQ+ youth.

The language and the supporters of the bill and the rhetoric around the bill really shows what this bill is, and it’s an attempt to hurt queer people like me.

Phelan M Ebenhack/AP/Shutterstock

Disney has also come under scrutiny.

The company donated almost $200,000 over two years to Florida politicians who pushed the bill.

In an internal memo, Disney CEO Bob Chapek stated Disney’s “entire leadership team unequivocally stand in support of our LGBTQ+ employees.” In a shareholders meeting, he said he’d called DeSantis about the bill.

Current and former Disney employees were quick to express their distaste. Pixar employees wrote a letter slamming Chapek’s statement and claiming that Disney requests “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection” to be cut from films.

We aren’t worthy enough to be stood up for, treated equally, or humanized. Bob’s statement today has made it crystal clear that he doesn’t care about LGBTQ+ people, just the money we give him. The magic has died for me, and the little queer kid being beaten for being queer is crying and alone again.

Despite backlash, DeSantis’s administration is hell-bent on defending the bill.

You might remember DeSantis’s spokeswoman, Christina Pushaw, for running interference in January for a literal Nazi rally.

Recently, Pushaw took to Twitter to accuse people of being pedophiles if they oppose the bill, writing, “If you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer, or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4-8-year-old children.”

Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/Shutterstock
Wilfredo Lee/AP/Shutterstock

On March 28, DeSantis signed the bill into law at a prep school outside Tampa.

He told the crowd, “We will make sure that parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination.”

The fight isn’t over, though. Per AP News, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said his agency “will be monitoring this law upon implementation to evaluate whether it violates federal civil rights law.”

Read More:

Check out this Salon article to learn more about the deadly trope Pushaw invoked.

And this Mic article explores why Democrats are falling short in their attempts to oppose the current onslaught of transphobic legislation.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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