Dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” bill, SB 1834 will prohibit discussion of LGBTQ+ issues, people, and families in the classroom; encourage schools to “out” LGBTQ+ youth; and undermine existing protections for LGBTQ+ youth and families.
New York, NY – Today, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the discriminatory SB 1834 into law. Dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” bill, the legislation will prohibit teachers and students from talking about LGBTQ+ issues (including talking about their own families in the classroom), encourage schools to “out” LGBTQ+ youth to potentially unsafe families, undermine existing protections for LGBTQ+ youth and families in schools, and encourage parents to sue schools that violate the law.
Its passage marks the first successful attempt by a state to ban mention of LGBTQ+ people in schools in more than twenty years—although advocates are already seeing a rise in similar bills across the country. So far this year, at least 160 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced or rolled over from the previous year for consideration. Many of them, like that of Florida, would bar certain school policies, inclusive and diverse books, or classroom discussions, while others target transgender students.
Family Equality releases the following statement in response to today’s news:
“Like our families in Florida and across the country, we are furious that Governor Ron DeSantis has made the unconscionable decision to put thousands of youth and families at risk of harm by signing Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ bill this afternoon.
“Our families are already vulnerable to bullying and violence without elected officials advancing legislation that targets and attacks us. In fact, our data tells us that 1 in 4 youth with LGBTQ+ parents feel unsafe in school already. Bills like this one will put the nearly 3.7 million children in the US who are growing up with LGBTQ+ parents at risk of even more discrimination and mistreatment in schools—not to mention the harm it poses to LGBTQ+ youth, who are at a disproportionately high risk of self-harm and suicide.
“We are tired of our states telling us our families are not ‘appropriate’ to talk about in the classroom. We’re tired of people in power trying to erase our histories and current existence. We’re tired of being told that we should be ashamed of who we are, whom we love, and what our families look like. And we won’t stand for our kids to be shunned, shamed, or pushed into the closet by decision-makers who were elected to represent our voice.
“To all our families and young people in Florida: You are nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, we see you. We celebrate you. And we are fighting for your rights to #SayGayAnyway.”
About Family Equality
Family Equality advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality believes every LGBTQ+ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn more at familyequality.org.
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Chief Communications Officer/
646-880-3005 ext. 157