Equality California on the Expansion of Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' Legislation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - March 3, 2023 - Equality California, the nation's largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Tony Hoang on HB 1223, a bill filed in Florida by Rep, Adam Anderson (R-Tarpon Springs) that would expand the discriminatory so-called 'Don't Say Gay' legislation passed in early 2022 that seeks to erase LGBTQ+ people from Florida schools:

"There seems to be no limit to the cruelty and bigotry that Florida lawmakers, including Governor Ron DeSantis, wish to inflict upon LGBTQ+ students and their families. The mental health consequences that 'Don't Say Gay' causes for LGBTQ+ students and their families are myriad and distressing.

"Numbers don't lie -Students without access to supportive and affirming classroom environments are much more likely to engage in self-harming behaviors and have greatly increased levels of suicidal ideation. Make no mistake -Ron DeSantis and his ilk intend to put these children directly in harm's way in order to score political points.

"Equality California will continue to work with our partners at Equality Florida as they face these unprecedented challenges. In addition, we will keep working with elected officials in California to uplift and protect LGBTQ+ students."

The introduced expansion would allow anti-LGBTQ+ activists to sue a school district to enforce a complete ban on any mention of LGBTQ+ people in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade curriculums, as well as forbid the use of pronouns that align with a student's gender identity up through 12th grade. To support Equality Florida, visit www.eqfl.org.

Equality California is the nation's largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ+ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating, and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org

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