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Florida’s ‘Avoid Using Gay Terminology’ Legislation Enacted


Florida’s ‘Avoid Using Gay Terminology’ Legislation Enacted

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the “Parental Rights in Education” bill into law yesterday. Commonly known as the “Avoid Using Gay Terminology” bill, this legislation has sparked significant criticism and opposition from LGBTQ+ supporters ever since its introduction in January.

The law specifies that “teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity by school staff or external entities is prohibited in kindergarten through third grade, or in a manner that is not consistent with age-appropriate or developmentally suitable content as per state standards.” It also mandates that school districts must develop processes to inform a student’s parent in case of changes in the student’s care or monitoring of their mental, emotional, or physical health and well-being. Parents who feel this provision has been breached will have the right to take legal action against school districts.

During the bill signing, DeSantis emphasized, “We will uphold that parents hold a key role in the education, healthcare, and welfare of their children in Florida. We will not veer from this stance.”

Concerns have been raised by advocates and activists that this law seeks to eliminate the visibility and representation of LGBTQ+ youth in classrooms, and could result in schools disclosing the LGBTQ+ status of students to their parents without their consent.

“LGBTQ youth in Florida deserve better. They have the right to witness their heritage, their families, and their own identities reflected in the educational environment,” stated Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of non-profit organization The Trevor Project. “Although it is disheartening to witness the enactment of this detrimental legislation, I am encouraged by the immense support shown for LGBTQ students by parents, educators, public figures, and their peers. Emotional backing is essential for suicide prevention, and I want to assure LGBTQ youth in Florida and nationwide that you are not alone.”

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