A federal court in Florida dismissed a challenge to the state’s “don’t say gay” law last week, but left open the possibility the case could be refiled in the future.In a 25-page opinion issued last Thursday, U.S.
District Judge Allen Winsor, who was appointed to the bench by former President Donald Trump, found the plaintiffs Equality Florida, Family Equality, and a group of teachers, students, and parents had not established standing to file the case.“The principal problem is that most of plaintiffs’ alleged harm is not plausibly tied to the law’s enforcement so much as the law’s very existence,” wrote Winsor, noting no injunction issued by a court could resolve that issue.The ruling came in response to motions filed by Equality Florida and Family Equality requesting discovery in the case filed in April.
The court had prevented discovery, or the process of gathering information in the case via deposition and examination of evidence, saying the plaintiffs had yet to show they had standing to file the case.Winsor further wrote the plaintiffs could refile the suit at a later time, but must first meet additional thresholds.“With or without the law, school districts direct teachers as to what they may and may not teach,” the judge wrote. “Plaintiffs do not allege otherwise; they do not assert, for example, that Florida’s public-school teachers may teach whatever lessons they wish.
So to the extent plaintiffs allege that some teachers or others wish to provide ‘classroom instruction . . . on sexual orientation or gender identity’ to students ‘in kindergarten through grade 3,’ they would have to show (at a minimum) that without the law their individual school district would allow it.