Equality Florida Condemns Passage of the "Don't Say Gay" Bill by the Florida Legislature

Equality Florida Condemns Passage of the "Don't Say Gay" Bill by the Florida Legislature


The Don’t Say Gay bill has passed the Florida legislature and now goes to the governor’s desk. Let us be clear: should its vague language be interpreted in any way that causes harm to a single child, teacher, or family, we will lead legal action against the State of Florida to challenge this bigoted legislation.


We will not sit by and allow the governor’s office to call us pedophiles. We will not allow this bill to harm LGBTQ Floridians. We will not permit any school to enforce this in a way that endangers the safety of children. We stand ready to fight for Floridians in court and hold lawmakers who supported this bill accountable at the ballot box.


At every turn, the Florida legislature rejected reasonable amendments to this legislation and refused to mitigate its harm. Now, in deference to the extreme political agenda of the Governor, the Florida Senate has passed the hateful Don’t Say Gay bill and sent it to his desk. Lawmakers rejected the voices of tens of thousands who sent emails and made phone calls asking for them to put a stop to this bill, thousands of courageous students who walked out of class, hundreds of people who testified before their bodies, dozens of child welfare organizations and leaders who spoke up to name the harms of the bill, and their own Republican colleagues who refused to support it. Instead, they locked arms with the angry mobs hurling anti-LGBTQ slurs at those asking for nothing more than a safe place to go to school without having to hide who they are. 


We thank the hundreds of people from across the state came - some who drove over eight hours - to the Florida Capitol to testify and share their stories, over 602,503 people who sent emails to lawmakers, volunteers who made 59,900 phone calls to connect pro-equality Floridians with their lawmakers to voice their opposition, and more than 3,500 people donated to help provide the resources needed to fight in Tallahassee - including the launch of a broadcast TV commercial to help highlight the harms of this bill. We are inspired by the thousands of students who bravely led and organized peaceful walkouts to protest the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, forcing lawmakers to hear their stories. We are grateful for Democrats in the Florida Legislature who showed up for us every step of the way, especially our LGBTQ lawmakers: Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith, Representative Michele Rayner-Goolsby, and Senator Shevrin Jones. And we salute the 10 GOP lawmakers who broke with GOP leadership by voting against this bill.


Our fight for full equality continues.


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