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‘Don’t Say Gay’ amendment forcing schools to out students withdrawn as bill advances further in Florida

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A Republican legislator withdrew a controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill amendment that would have seen students forcibly outed by schools.

The bill, which is part of a Parental Rights in Education proposal, was altered by Rep Joe Harding on 18 February. His now-withdrawn amendment stated that “the school principal or his or her designee shall develop a plan, using all available governmental resources, to disclose such information within [six] weeks after the decision to withhold such information from the parent.” This would have been done “through an open dialogue in a safe, supportive, and judgement-free environment that respects the parent-child relationship and protects the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of the student,” the amendment stated.

On 22 February, prior to legislators in Florida debating House Bill 1557 (HB 1557), Harding withdrew the amendment following global outrage at its contents.

The same day, the state’s House Republicans advanced the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, meaning it is now set for a final vote in the House.

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