#Roommates, another day, another decision by Florida legislators that is causing controversy—and this time it involves the proposed banning of issues pertaining to the LGBTQ+ community. In a recent decision, the Florida House Committee passed a bill that seeks to ban all discussions of sexuality and gender identity in state schools.
@TheHill reports, late last week the Florida House voted to pass the Parental Rights in Education Bill, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, that is causing an immense uproar, as several critics say that the bill will effectively “erase” LGBTQ+ history, culture and students who attend Florida schools. Passed by the House Education and Employment Committee, the bill seeks to permanently ban all discussions surrounding sexuality and gender identity in Florida schools and those who disobey could be faced with legal action.
However that’s not all the bill does, as parents are also given the right to take legal action against their child’s school district (and subsequently be awarded damages) if they believe any school policies infringe on their “fundamental right to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children.” Additionally, Florida educators would be forbidden to discuss LGBTQ+ topics in classrooms that are not deemed “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”
Speaking about the bill, Florida Representative Joe Harding stated, “This bill is about defending the most awesome responsibility a person can have: being a parent. That job can only be given to you by above.”
As expected, the bill has enraged those against it, who say that not only does it promote erasure of the LGBTQ+ community, but it could also contribute to mental health issues, as some point to statistics that show youth who are informed of LGBTQ+ issues have a significantly lower suicide rate.
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