“Don’t say gay” | Florida expands law to all grade levels

(Miami) Florida on Wednesday extended a controversial law banning the teaching of subjects related to sexual orientation or gender identity to all grade levels after a request from the state’s Republican Governor, Ron DeSantis.

This extension of a law enacted in 2022, which had caused a national controversy and is nicknamed “Don’t say gay” (“Don’t talk about gays”) by its critics, was approved by the Board of Education of the State and had already been validated by the local authorities responsible for education.

Strongly criticized by Democrats and activists for the rights of LGBT + people, the text now prohibits the “intentional” teaching of these subjects from kindergarten to high school.

The only way to teach about sexual orientation or gender identity in this southeastern U.S. state is if those classes “are required by state academic standards,” which is not is not the case, or that they are part of a “reproductive health course”, from which parents can withdraw their children.

Professors who contravene these measures could see their right to teach suspended or revoked, according to the new text.

“Shame on the DeSantis government for targeting LGBTQ+ Florida residents,” Equality Florida tweeted.

Ron DeSantis, a new strongman on the hard right, is seen as a likely contender for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election, even if he has not yet formalized his candidacy.

The Republican leads a very conservative policy, particularly in matters of morals. He pays particular attention to the themes and books studied in schools, which he accuses of indoctrinating students.

Schools, mirrors of a deeply divided America, are the scene of very political clashes over the teaching of racism, gender issues or sexuality across the country.

This law is also part of a national conservative offensive on LGBT+ issues.

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