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LGBTQ parents, students, and teachers sue over Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law

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metroweekly.com

On Thursday, a group of Florida school-age students, parents of LGBTQ youth, and a teacher filed suit against a recent bill signed into law by Gov.

Ron DeSantis that prohibits LGBTQ-related content or lessons in primary grade classrooms.The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida on behalf of the pro-LGBTQ organizations Equality Florida and Family Equality and the other plaintiffs, argues that they face, and have already begun to suffer concrete harms due to the “Parental Rights in Education” law, which has dubbed by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.As written, the law in question bars classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in Florida classrooms from kindergarten through third grade, and in a manner that is not “age-appropriate” or “developmentally appropriate” in older grades.

But critics have expressed concerns that, in being enforced, teachers and school administrators — wary of being sued by litigious parents — will take harsher stances, preemptively banning LGBTQ content from secondary and high school classrooms, censoring student speech, removing books from libraries that reference different sexual orientations or gender identities, even if they are not essential to the plot, and prohibiting LGBTQ-identifying students (or students with LGBTQ parents) from forming clubs like Gender and Sexuality Alliances, also known as GSAs.Specifically, the plaintiffs, who are represented by the legal firm of Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, argue that the law violates students’ right to due process and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S.

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