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In June of 2021, Hungary passed a law banning instruction on LGBT topics in schools, prohibiting information on gay and transgender people in sex education classes.

Nine months later, Ron DeSantis signed HB 1557 Parental Rights in Education, or "Don’t Say Gay.” According to reports, when asked about a connection between the laws, Ron DeSantis’s Press Secretary at the time, Christina Pushaw, said, “Oh yeah, we were watching the Hungarians, so yay Hungary.”

Victor Orbán, Hungary’s Prime Minister, has become a role model for the Republican right. He spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last August in Dallas, around the same time Orbán declared that Hungary must remain racially white, as Hungarians do not want to become “people of mixed races.”

After DeSantis’s 20-point victory in November, the magazine Hungarian Conservative published this headline: “Florida’s ‘Orbán’ On His Way To The White House.” Dozens of articles have been written about the similarities between Hungary’s authoritarian leader and Florida’s governor. Both support bans on gender studies at colleges and universities, both have expanded government control over school curricula, both punish corporations for defying their political agenda, and both use religion as a cudgel to inflict pain on LGBT students and adults.

That’s why the decisions you make go well beyond Broward. Are we really going to make policy in Broward based on HB 1557? It’s having tragic effects on the mental wellbeing of gay and trans youth, it’s driving teachers from the profession … but Moms For Liberty are happy. So are white nationalists, and neo-Nazis, and the Proud Boys. And it’s at the heart of DeSantis’ campaign to energize that extreme MAGA base he will need to secure the Republican nomination for 2024.

As school boards have tried to appease DeSantis, his agenda has just gotten more oppressive. Appeasement doesn’t work with bullies or fascists. Just ask Neville Chamberlain.

If you think my language is too strong, it became clear at last week’s CPAC conference that the Republican campaign against trans kids could be the beginning of a fascist campaign to erase trans people from public life altogether. When a speaker declared that, “For the good of society … transgenderism must be eradicated from the public entirely, at every level,” the crowd cheered.

Now see what Hitler wrote in a letter dated September 16, 1919, to a soldier named Adolph Gemlich: “Rational antisemitism must lead to the eradication of the privileges of the Jews, with the final objective the total removal of all Jews from our midst.”

In his last-ditch effort to escape the gallows, Holocaust organizer Adolph Eichmann tried to shift responsibility for the deaths of millions of Jews to his superiors, claiming he was only complying with their orders. I'm asking this school board to stop complying.

Show all of our students, our parents, our state, that this body has the strength, integrity and decency to stand up to the Tallahassee bullies. Broward schools won’t “just follow orders” and throw our LGBT students under the bus. We will not help you marginalize our kids by erasing them from our schools. You’ve inflicted enough pain already. It stops here. It stops now. It stops in Broward.

- Marc Paige