Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signs ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill into law during staged ceremony surrounded by children

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signs ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill into law during staged ceremony surrounded by children
Ron DeSantis signs ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill on 28 March 2022.
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Republican governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has officially signed into law the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, forbidding instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom from 1 July.

 

In a clearly staged signing, surrounded by kids like he’s some sort of saviour for the young, transphobic ‘gender-critical’ Governor DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education Bill on 28 March at the Classical Preparatory School in Spring Hill, Florida.

 

DeSantis, a Trump ally who is seen as a leading presidential contender for the 2024 election, proclaimed before signing: “We will make sure parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination” 

 

DeSantis recently hit out at Disney after the corporation cut off his money paused all political donations in the Florida state following extensive public backlash to the company’s muted response on the harmful legislation, which now comes into state law on 1 July.

 

Last week (22 March), he took to social media to misgender trans swimmer Lia Thomas, signing a proclamation denouncing her win in the women’s 500-yard freestyle in Atlanta.

 

The so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill has been slammed by LGBTQ+ activists, human rights advocates and public figures globally for having a potentially devastating impact on the mental health of LGBTQ+ youth and their families – an already vulnerable part of society with dangerously alarming suicide statistics.

 

The bill states: “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 or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

 

Parents can also sue school districts over violations, fuelling a long-fought culture of fear over essential LGBTQ+ visibility.

 

Under this bill, parents can also decline any mental, emotional and physical health services available to their children at school, and schools will be required to notify parents of their child’s use of school health services unless there is reason to believe “that disclosure would subject the student to abuse, abandonment or neglect.”

 

Despite protests and huge public uproar, DeSantis rebuked such efforts, instead accusing anyone who opposes the bill of “sloganeering”, saying that they “support sexualising kids in kindergarten”, along with “injecting woke gender ideology into second grade classrooms”, and “enabling schools to transition students to a different gender without the knowledge of the parent, much less without the parent’s consent”.

 

All of which, of course, is utter bullshit. 

 

The bill was mocked at the Oscars Sunday night (27 March, below), with co-hosts Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall repeating the word ‘gay’ as the crowd applauded and with Jessica Chastain addressing ‘bigoted’ anti-LGBTQ+ laws in her Best Actress win speech.

 

The signing comes shortly after it was revealed that the annual number of anti-LGBTQ bills to have been filed in the US catapulted from 41 throughout the whole of 2018 to 238 in less than three months of 2022.

 

That amounts to more than 3 per day, with approximately over half of them targeting transgender people specifically. 

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