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LGBTQ Discrimination Begins In Florida

By Charlotte Robinson, July 05, 2022

Florida’s HB 1557 known as the Don’t Say LGBTQ law took effect July 1st. The law bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation & gender identity in grades K-3 & restricts that instruction in grades 4-12 immediately impacting Florida classrooms. In Trumplandia Palm Beach County School Superintendent Mike Burke began by circumventing the district’s material review process to remove multiple books featuring LGBTQ characters. In recent weeks also he issued guidance to educators across the district to remove books currently being challenged & place them “in a classroom closet” & search their shelves for other titles that may include LGBTQ characters or mention topics like racism or oppression. Joe Saunders, Equality Florida Senior Political Director stated, “Since the inception of this hateful policy, lawmakers have assured the public that it would not lead to censorship or erasure of LGBTQ people. But our community has always known the truth. The Don’t Say LGBTQ law has always been fueled by anti-LGBTQ animus & designed to further stigmatize the LGBTQ community, ban books about us, erase us from classrooms & force us back into the closet. It is a bigoted & dangerous law that is making Florida less safe for students & families & we will work tirelessly to see it repealed.” Florida districts statewide have taken drastic steps in response to the Don’t Say Gay law. Graduation speeches were scrubbed of references to LGBTQ advocacy. Yearbook pages had images of Don’t Say LGBTQ walkouts blacked out. Conservative religious activists have successfully initiated challenges to dozens of books in multiple school districts & Rainbow-colored COEXIST banners & Pride flags have been stripped from school walls. 

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