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Lawsuit filed against Florida over 'Don't Say Gay' law

Posted at 12:19 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 12:19:32-04

Equality Florida and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP, and families in Florida are filing a lawsuit against the State of Florida over the newly-signed Parental Rights in Education law, also known by critics as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law.

The lawsuit characterizes the law as "an unlawful attempt to stigmatize, silence, and erase LGBTQ people in Florida’s public schools."

"It seeks to do so by imposing a sweeping, vague ban covering any instruction on 'sexual orientation and gender identity,' and by constructing a diffuse enforcement scheme designed to maximize the chilling effect of this prohibition," the lawsuit says.

The law states: “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” Parents would be able to sue districts over violations.

RELATED: DeSantis signs controversial House Bill 1557, dubbed 'Don't Say Gay' bill

FULL CIRCLE: Parental rights? Or an attack on the LGBTQ community? Breaking down HB1557

"We made a promise to defend the rights of all students to have a healthy environment to learn and thrive and for all parents to know their families are included and respected," Equality Florida said in a statement. "Governor Ron DeSantis’ cruel ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law is meant to isolate, stigmatize, and erase LGBTQ families and our children. We are proud to stand with the families who have fought to be recognized and with the students who have demanded to be included and respected. LGBTQ people a part of every family, every community, every school and we will continue to stand firmly on the side of equality for all. "

DeSantis and Republicans have repeatedly said the measure is reasonable and that parents, not teachers, should be broaching subjects of sexual orientation and gender identity with their children.

You can read the lawsuit in its entirety HERE.