‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Close To Florida House Vote

‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Close To Florida House Vote

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Protests are popping up around the state against the Parental Rights in Education Bill, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Miami high school senior Javier Gomez went to Tallahassee to rally against the bill.

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“I’m frustrated, I’m angry, I’m disappointed, I’m scared,” Gomez said.

The proposal being considered says, “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade three or in a manner that is not age appropriate…”

“It’s just mind boggling that we’re in 2022 and we’re still fighting for these rights for us to be heard, for us to live in a safe environment,” Gomez said.

Opponents fear, if passed, it would limit discussion of many LGBTQ issues between students and teachers.

Democratic South Florida State Sen. Shevrin Jones says a new amendment to it could “out” students looking for guidance.

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“If a child tells a teacher about their sexual orientation or not straight, that this teacher has six weeks to notify the parent,” State Sen. Jones said.

Senate sponsor Republican Dennis Baxley sent a statement saying, “This bill will help us focus on the priority that our students belong to families and that they are not wards of the state. Parents should decide what is age appropriate content for their children.”

Safe Schools South Florida Executive Director Scott Galvin worries it will harm LGBTQ students.

“It’s an attempt silence, it’s an attempt to make the LGBTQ community disappear.  If you can’t talk about it in school, if you can’t be yourself in school, then you essentially cease to exist,” he said.

The bill is on the calendar for discussion on the House floor. It could come up as early as Tuesday.

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On the Senate side, it’s still in committee with no date for when the full Senate could debate it.

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