Tallahassee, Florida – Today, the Senate floor debated SB 1834 or the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” bill following the House passage of it’s counterpart HB 1557. If passed this bill would endager LGBTQ youth by prohibiting teachers from speaking about LGBTQ topics, including gender identity and sexual orientation. The bill aims to further stigmatize LGBTQ Floridians and isolate LGBTQ youth. Students from all over the state have traveled to Tallahassee to take action and demand that this incredibly harmful bill not be passed.
Juan Manuel Guzman, State Advocacy Director at United We Dream said:
“Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ bill (HB 1577/SB 1834) is a dangerous and bigoted bill that seeks to harm LGBTQ youth and their supporters. Unfortunately, this bill is part of a greater scheme from some lawmakers in the state to attack members of our community. Florida Republicans have led attempts to ban abortions, harm immigrant children and families, and prohibit teaching the truth about racism in schools. With this latest attempt to harm LGBTQ youth and families, Gov. DeSantis and Republicans in Florida have taken every chance to threaten the safety of young people through harmful bills. This strategy is similar to attacks we are seeing against LGBTQ people, immigrants, and people seeking abortions, in states across the country, like Texas. But, young people are showing their power. We are fighting for our lives in Florida and across the country to denounce these efforts to harm our community on every front. State senators in Florida must reject this harmful bill and vote no on the ‘‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ bill.”
Mariana Ochoa, Communications Associate of United We Dream said:
“As a queer person, immigrant and a Floridian with a Miami Dade County Public School education, I know the difficulties that come with not having my identity reflected back to me at school. Now, lawmakers in my home state are trying to force through an attack on Florida’s LGBTQ young people with the passage of the ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ bill (HB 1577/SB 1834). Make no mistake, this bill would deeply harm LGBTQ people across Florida. This bill prevents teachers from providing safety for their students and creates a possibility of outing kids to their families before they are ready to do so, which could put young people at risk of feeling unsafe at home.
Not only do queer and trans youth exist in Florida but they are following in the footsteps of a of LGBTQ history makers. Our abundant communities are the past, present and future and our voices will not be silenced. LGBTQ students throughout the state are fighting back and exercising our collective power. Young people across Florida have organized walk outs, even traveling to Tallahassee demanding that the Senators vote “no” on this bigoted bill. Florida Senators must protect and listen to the powerful young people of Florida and vote no on this incredibly harmful bill!”