Three days after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the measure, LGBTQ-advocacy groups, parents, students and a teacher filed a federal lawsuit challenging a new law that includes barring instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in early school grades.
The lawsuit, filed in the federal Northern District of Florida, seeks to block Florida from moving forward with the law, which is set to take effect in July. While DeSantis and Republican lawmakers describe the law as boosting parental rights, it has drawn national attention as critics dubbed it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The challenge focuses on a part of the law that would prohibit instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade and require that such instruction in older grades is age-appropriate in accordance with state academic standards.
The suit asks the court to strike down the law and prohibit Florida’s education officials from enforcing it and to award damages where appropriate and attorney fees if the lawsuit prevails.
Biden’s Administration issued a strong statement against this legislation pending in Florida. The Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, has slammed Florida’s pending “Don’t Say Gay” legislation proposed by Republicans, saying it tells LGBTQ kids or those with LGBTQ parents there’s something wrong with them.
Students at high schools across Florida also walked out of their classes to send a message to their communities and, they hoped, to lawmakers in Tallahassee, in opposition to “Don’t Say Gay” bill and that it’s okay to be gay.