DeSantis is all for anything that muzzles people from speaking the truth—from banning American history under the guise of banning critical race theory (CRT), to voter suppression in Black and brown communities, to peddling misinformation about vaccines and masks as mitigation for COVID-19, to ignoring racist Nazi rallies in his state, to the latest subjugation of the LGBTQ community in classrooms. DeSantis’ support of this bill is just another example of how limited this governor is in his thinking.
The bill was introduced by state Sen. Joe Harding (R) and includes issues such as requiring school districts to notify parents of any changes to students’ services or monitoring of students’ mental or physical health.
A nearly identical bill has also been introduced in the state Senate.
Opponents argue that the bill could lead to more bullying, harassment, and suicide of LGBTQ children, not to mention the impact on teaching about LGBTQ history and questions that come up in classroom discussions.
DeSantis has not said whether or not he would sign the bill if it reached his desk, according to CNN.
Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, an Orlando Democrat who is gay, criticized the measure, saying it sends a “dangerous message” that conversations about the LGBTQ community are forbidden.
“It’s going to have, really, a chilling effect on the ability of school districts to continue with LGBTQ-inclusive policies that create positive educational environments for our youth,” Smith said during a news conference held by House Democrats.
“DeSantis tries to paint this picture that every family is this 1950s mom and dad with two kids and a cat and dog. That is not what Florida looks like; that is not what the country looks like,” Jennifer Soloman, a South Florida resident who has LGBTQ children, told NBC News. Soloman says her 11-year-old son, Cooper, identifies as a male and has “never wanted to be a girl,” but prefers to wear girl’s clothing.
She says she worries about families living in more rural communities.
"There could be a family just like mine that is going to have to go back in the closet," she said. "They're going to have to tell their child, 'I'm sorry, you can dress the way you want to at home, but you have no protections at school, and so you can't be your authentic self all of the time.' That's very damaging to a child."
Chasten Buttigieg, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg's husband and a former teacher, spoke out against the bill on Twitter last month.
“This will kill kids, @RonDeSantisFL. You are purposefully making your state a harder place for LGBTQ kids to survive in. In a national survey (@TrevorProject), 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year. Now they can't talk to their teachers?”
In a 2021 survey from the Trevor Project of 35,000 LGBTQ youth ages 13-24 across the nation, 42% seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth. Seventy-five percent reported that they had experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity at least once in their lifetime. And half of all LGBTQ youth of color reported discrimination based on their race/ethnicity in the past year, including 67% of Black LGBTQ youth and 60% of Asian/Pacific Islander LGBTQ youth.
With all the attacks on marginalized communities, considering his legislation against CRT and now this latest bill, it’s no wonder the governor doesn’t have time to address the omnipresent voter fraud happening to innocent elderly folks in Miami-Dade County.
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