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Don’t Say Gay or Trans Battle Heats Up

By Charlotte Robinson, October 24, 2022

Judge Wendy Berger appointed to the U.S. District Court by Trump in 2019 refused to halt Florida’s enacted House Bill 1557 known as the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” law & dismissed the case altogether but is allowing the plaintiffs an opportunity to file an amended complaint by November 3rd. Kell Olson, Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal stated, “The court’s decision is wrong on the law & disrespectful to LGBTQ+ families & students. HB 1557 suppresses wholesale the speech & identities of LGBTQ+ students & their families. The students & families at the heart of this case have experienced more bullying in the months since the law went into effect than ever before in their lives, but the court dismissed their experiences of bullying as ‘a fact of life.’ The court’s decision defies decades of precedent establishing schools’ constitutional obligations to protect student speech & to protect students from targeted bullying and harassment based on who they are.” Simone Chriss, Director of Transgender Rights Initiative at Southern Legal Counsel added, “Our plaintiffs & other LGBTQ+ students & families throughout Florida, have experienced real harms caused by this law, which were not acknowledged by the Court. This fight is not over - it has just begun. Florida’s LGBTQ+ students & families deserve better & we will press forward to protect their rights.” Angela Vigil, Partner & Executive Director of Pro Bono Practice at Baker McKenzie LLP concluded, “We very much look forward to continuing the fight against this unjust & dangerous law. We plan to show the court & the state the harm caused to children & families by this law is destructive in so many ways for education, community, families & most importantly, children.” 

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