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First Federal Suit Against Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' Law Filed

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press release.House Bill 1557 was signed into law Monday by Gov. Ron DeSantis. It bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-3 and requires that any mention in higher grades be “age-appropriate.” The suit name DeSantis as a defendant, along with the Florida State Board of Education and the state's Department of Education, plus several local school boards.“As alleged in the complaint, HB 1557 would seek to erase for an entire generation of Florida public school students the fact that LGBTQ people exist and have equal dignity,” the release says. “HB 1557 harms LGBTQ people — and violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution — by discriminatorily censoring classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity in Florida public schools, not only for grades K-3 but for any grade as long as someone concludes that the discussion is somehow not ‘age-appropriate.’ The law deliberately employs broad and vague terms, inviting arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement by parents, who are designated as roving censors and empowered to sue local school boards for damages based on any violation.”The law raises many questions, according to the lawyers, such as whether a student with same-sex parents can mention the family or their relationship; how a teacher can respond to a student being bullied for their sexual orientation or gender identity; and if a school librarian has to remove books with LGBTQ+ characters or references.

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