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Florida Lawmakers Voted to Expand ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Restrictions — Here’s Why That’s So Dangerous

An expansion of Florida’s now-infamous ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law has passed in the state Senate and now heads to Gov. Ron DeSantis’s desk for approval. Here’s what that could mean for the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ youth in the Sunshine State.

As The Hill reported, an updated version of the law was approved this Wednesday (May 3). Formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, the controversial measure — which prohibits virtually all classroom instruction related to the LGBTQ+ community for students in certain age groups — now applies to grades K–8. This week’s addendum also includes a process for banning books with queer themes from public school shelves.

DeSantis, a Republican, is a staunch supporter of the measure, so it’s almost guaranteed that he will approve it.

Although the law’s proponents claim it “promotes parental rights, transparency, and state standards,” LGBTQ+ advocates believe it is a clear attempt to silence and erase queer youth in Florida. (Many folks also think DeSantis is trying to galvanize his supporters by wading into a so-called culture war as he attempts to run for president.)

“The Don’t Say LGBTQ law has already caused sweeping damage across our state,” Jon Harris Maurer, public policy director of the advocacy group Equality Florida, told The Hill. “It was wrong when it was adopted, and expanding it is wrong now.”

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