Gay rights groups sue Florida Gov. DeSantis over so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law : NPR


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis shows the signed Parental Rights in Training, the so-called “Do not Say Homosexual” invoice, flanked by elementary faculty college students throughout a information convention on Monday at Classical Preparatory faculty in Shady Hills, Fla.

Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Occasions through AP

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Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Occasions through AP

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis shows the signed Parental Rights in Training, the so-called “Do not Say Homosexual” invoice, flanked by elementary faculty college students throughout a information convention on Monday at Classical Preparatory faculty in Shady Hills, Fla.

Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Occasions through AP

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Homosexual rights advocates sued Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday to dam a new law that forbids classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identification in kindergarten by third grade. The legislation has catapulted Florida and DeSantis, a possible 2024 Republican presidential candidate, to the forefront of the nation’s tradition wars. Critics name it the “Do not Say Homosexual” legislation and argue that its true intent is to marginalize LGBTQ individuals and their households.

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The problem filed in federal court docket in Tallahassee on behalf of Equality Florida and Household Equality alleges that the legislation violates the constitutionally protected rights of free speech, equal safety and due course of of scholars and households. “This effort to regulate younger minds by state censorship — and to demean LGBTQ lives by denying their actuality — is a grave abuse of energy,” the lawsuit says. “America Supreme Court docket has repeatedly affirmed that LGBTQ individuals and their households are at house in our constitutional order. The State of Florida has no proper to declare them outcasts, or to deal with their allies as outlaws, by punishing faculties the place somebody dares to affirm their identification and dignity,” the lawsuit says.

The legislation intentionally employs broad phrases and invitations arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement, empowering dad and mom to be roving censors who can sue faculty boards for damages primarily based on any perceived violation, the lawsuit provides. The legislation states: “Classroom instruction by faculty personnel or third events on sexual orientation or gender identification could not happen in kindergarten by grade 3 or in a way that’s not age applicable or developmentally applicable for college students in accordance with state requirements.” Dad and mom would be capable to sue districts over violations.

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U.S. Training Secretary Miguel Cardona met with LGBTQ college students and their members of the family at a college in Orlando on Thursday, discussing privately how the laws is affecting their lives. Cardona’s go to was one in all a number of Biden administration occasions Thursday displaying help for the queer group, together with a presidential proclamation recognizing Transgender Day of Visibility. “We all know whereas many transgender college students expertise beneficial help in school, many others face important challenges due to hostility directed at them by others,” Cardona mentioned. “This features a rising variety of state legal guidelines that bully and intimidate LGBTQI+ college students and their households.”

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DeSantis and different Republicans have repeatedly described the foundations as cheap, saying kids ought to find out about sexual orientation and gender identification from their dad and mom, not in faculties. “We’ll make it possible for dad and mom can ship their children to highschool to get an training, not an indoctrination,” the governor mentioned when he signed it into legislation this week. Many critics have mentioned the legislation’s language, significantly the phrases “classroom instruction” and “age applicable,” may very well be interpreted so broadly that dialogue in any grade may set off lawsuits, making a classroom environment the place academics would keep away from the themes fully.

Intense public backlash adopted the invoice’s introduction in Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature this 12 months, with the White Home, Hollywood celebrities, college students, Democrats and LGBTQ advocates condemning the coverage. Authorized challenges have been anticipated.

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The submitting by Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP and the Nationwide Middle for Lesbian Rights seeks to dam the legislation from taking impact and in addition names Florida Training Commissioner Richard Corcoran and different training officers as defendants. “Already, our youngsters have instructed us that they’re afraid that they won’t be able to speak about their household in school,” Dan and Brent VanTice, dad and mom of two first-grade college students, mentioned within the assertion saying the go well with. “We’re heartbroken that our youngsters are already feeling remoted and stigmatized by this legislation.” Andrew Spar, president of the Florida Training Affiliation union, mentioned the legislation is politically motivated as a result of elementary faculties, particularly in kindergarten by third grade, don’t train about these topics and have state curriculum requirements guiding classroom classes. The legislation provides gas to a persistent feud between DeSantis and Democratic President Joe Biden, who tweeted after DeSantis signed the invoice this week that “My Administration will proceed to combat for dignity and alternative for each scholar and household — in Florida and across the nation.” Cardona has mentioned his company can be monitoring for any federal civil rights violations that outcome.



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