TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The controversial Parental Rights in Education law, well-known by its derisive nickname 'Don't Say Gay', has been extended to all public school grades in Florida. The move was made by the Florida Board of Education and approved by Governor Ron DeSantis.
Among the most divisive laws in recent state history, the policy bans any classroom discussion of gender identity or romantic orientation in the classroom, except for that which was already in state curriculum or is part of health classes. Supporters initially touted the law as a protection against obscene content being exposed to young children, while critics claimed it was too broad to be enforced and that it unfairly targeted the LGBTQ+ community.
This new expansion will take effect in about a month according to a spokesperson for the state, following a procedural period. Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz has said this will clear up confusions about the language of the original legislation, which was passed last year.
Florida is among several other Republican-controlled state legislatures which have recently taken stances against the LGBTQ+ community, primarily on three fronts: their presence in public schools, access to gender-related healthcare, and the presence of drag shows in communities. As many speculate DeSantis is preparing a campaign for President in 2024, it's easy to see the expansion of the 'Don't Say Gay' law as part of him leaning into his conservative stances on social and cultural issues.