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NBJC Says Stop Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill 

CONTACT: Brett Abrams | 

The Florida House Education & Employment Committee has passed HB 1557, the Parental Rights in Education bill, known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. This bill and its companion Senate bill SB 1834 would ban discussion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+, and same-gender loving  (LGBTQ+/SGL) topics in the classroom. It also allows parents to take legal action against teachers if they discuss gender orientation or sexuality. 

The bill includes additional provisions that undermine LGBTQ+ support in schools, including parental notification requirements that could result in LGBTQ+/SGL students being outed to their parents without consent. 

This bill will create even more barriers for LGBTQ+/SGL students to feel safe, and supported at school. According to the Trevor Project, only 28% of middle and high school LGBTQ+ students reported ever learning about LGBTQ+ people or issues in their classes at school. GLSEN and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) found that 51.6% of Black LGBTQ students felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and 40.2% because of their gender expression. 

“We’re living in a peculiar time where the privileged minority wish for all of us to embrace a post-truth era…to live as if words don’t have meanings and the truth isn’t worth telling, especially when it makes some of us uncomfortable,” said David Johns, NBJC Executive Director. “Truth is we’ve only grown in understanding and strengthened the community by being honest, especially about history and shared experiences.  Attempting to prevent students from knowing and feeling comfortable using words, histories, and experiences will not make those words, histories, and experiences disappear. It will only make it easier for students to learn and perform the worst parts of ignorance and hate. Our students deserve better. Our country deserves better.”

Help stop this bill by emailing Florida lawmakers using THIS Equality Florida form. The bill’s next two committees of reference are the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Education Committee. 

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.