Being young can be hard. Being a part of the LGBTQ community and being young is even harder. Making matters worse, Republican leadership in the Florida Legislature wants to block teachers from discussing LGBTQ issues with their students in schools. They’re trying to erase LGBTQ teens.
House Bill 1557/Senate Bill 1834 is a cruel bill that will stigmatize the existence of LGBTQ people and kids. This legislation will make teachers fearful of providing their students with a safe and inclusive classroom. The existence of LGBTQ families and students is not a topic that should be regulated by the Florida Legislature.
This bill will have devastating consequences on LGBTQ youth. Just one year after passing legislation that tells trans children they don’t belong, Florida Republicans are now doubling down on their assault on LGBTQ kids by advancing the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. This dehumanizing legislation would erase entire periods of history, censor literature, and ignores recommendations by the experts on health education.
This attack on LGBTQ youth would have devastating real-world consequences. Queer youth experience high rates of bullying and suicide. Our schools should provide more support for students instead of lawmakers trying to push them back into the closet. The facts don’t lie: 42% of LGBTQ youth who took the Trevor Project survey have seriously considered suicide.
This homophobic legislation is nothing more than another culture war stunt by a Governor more concerned with pandering to Republican presidential primary voters, not what’s best for the people he was elected to serve.
Republican legislators use the concept of “parents’ rights” as a pretext to ban the truthful teaching of history and to further hurt those from traditionally marginalized communities. Instead of focusing on issues students, teachers, and parents care about they attack LGBTQ children, further stigmatizing them.
Every parent hopes our leaders will ensure their children’s safety. Instead Republican leadership is targeting our most vulnerable and putting them at risk. By policing education on gender identity and sexual orientation this condemns the existence of LGBTQ youth. This mean-spirited legislation will put children in harm’s way instead of letting kids be kids.