Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that erases LGBT history in schools.
Today, he signed a bill that will cause even more harm to LGBT students.
The “Don’t Say Gay” bill will ban all topics regarding sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms in K-3. The bill was passed by lawmakers earlier in March and is expected to take effect in July, according to CNN.
Activists and senators were quick to criticize DeSantis.
"Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the 'Don't Say Gay' bill in the most cowardly way possible today. He hid his agenda from the media and the public until the last moment, skulking onto a charter school campus that is exempt from the law and away from students who would protest his presence," said Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida. "He has attacked parents and children in our state by invoking hateful anti-LGBTQ stereotypes all to pander to his right-wing base as he prepares to run for president in 2024 ... He has made schools less safe for children.”
State Senator Annette Tadde, who is running for Governor, criticized the governor as well, saying that he “goes out of his way to harm some of [the] most vulnerable groups on a regular basis.”
The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for LGBT youth, said students in Florida “deserve better.”
“While I am saddened to see this harmful bill signed into law, I am inspired by the outpouring of support for LGBTQ students we have seen from parents, teachers, celebrities, and their peers,” said Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project, in a statement. “Social support is vital for suicide prevention, and I want to remind LGBTQ youth in Florida and across the country that you are not alone.”
Although 6 in 10 Americans opposed the bill according to a poll, DeSantis embraced it anyway.
“It’s clear where Ron DeSantis’ priorities are. Of all the challenges Florida is facing and bills passed during the legislative session, he jumped at the opportunity to demonize LGBTQ+ Floridians,” said Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill. “His shameful bigotry is cynically designed for partisan gain and authoritarian rule at the expense of LGBTQ+ students, educators, and families. It’s not a political game though when lives are on the line.”