Parental freedom and parental rights have been further eroded with the passage of HB 1069: also known as Don’t Say Gay 2.0.
This bill, which passed along party lines last week, expands the original “Don’t Say Gay” bill (HB 1557) which was passed last year by the Republican led legislature.
Among other things, Don’t Say Gay 2.0 expands prohibitions related to sexual orientation and gender identity from 3rd to 8th grade and makes it easier to get a book banned from a classroom.
This bill will in effect, further ostracize LGBTQ+ students, teachers, families, and staff by not allowing them to speak about their identity and prohibits faculty, parents, staff and any other person of authority from using a student’s preferred pronouns, even when it is the preference of the student and/or their parent.
The bill also promotes a draconian-style book ban on any literature involving sexual orientation, gender identity or LGBTQ+ relations. This rather vague provision has caused panic amongst teachers who are now worried about unknowingly breaking the law. As written, this bill will enable one bigoted person, who does not have a student in the school, to decide what students can and cannot read.
“Instead of focusing on the needs of Floridians, such as lowering homeowners’ insurance, affordable housing, or dealing with climate change, the Republican-led legislature has chosen to focus on taking away rights from certain groups. This bill is yet another attack on our LGBTQ+ Floridians. Everyone deserves respect and freedom from overt government interference in their lives. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides to examine the constitutionality of such legislation and will continue fighting for the rights all Floridians,” said Representative Katherine Waldron (D-Wellington).