Florida Bill Passes Senate, Met With Severe Backlash Nationwide

On Tuesday, March 8, 2022, the Florida state senate made a landmark decision. With a vote of 22-17, the Parental Rights in Education Bill was passed, informally called by opponents the “Don’t Say Gay” bill due to how it restricts LGBTQ+ voices in education. The bill prohibits lessons about sexual orientation in primary classes (grades K-3), and also prohibits them in higher grades (up to 12th grade/senior year) unless they are “age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate.”

This bill has been met with fierce opposition by its opponents. People have claimed it severely limits the voice of the LGBTQ+ community in Florida schools, and many people from all corners of the state have participated in walkouts from schools and jobs in protest. Certain people have also been under fire from opponents of the bill, such as Disney CEO Bob Chapek, who has reportedly given support to politicians that pushed for the bill to be passed.

Another large fear of the bill, which was removed, but present regardless, was that teachers and school staff held the right to forcefully out a student to their family if they came out as anything besides straight or cisgender, no matter the circumstance. People are also worried about bills of similar nature being passed in similar states. Texas’ governor, Greg Abbott, recently passed a motion that would allow the state to investigate families for child abuse if they provided their child or children with gender-reaffirming care. Other states have also proposed bills that would place heavy restrictions on the discussion of sexual orientations besides heterosexuality.

However, it is important to add this: there is no shame in being who you are. People may criticize or shame others for being in the LGBTQ+ community, but there is nothing wrong with being yourself. If you ever find yourself in a bad mental state relating to how others treat you for your orientation or gender, there are multiple places where you can find help.


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