Florida Republicans have introduced three separate expansion bills that would build on the state “Don’t say gay” lawsThat was enacted about a year ago by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis
Current law prohibits public school teachers and districts from discussing gender identity and sexuality in kindergarten through third grade classrooms — citing “the fundamental right of parents to make decisions about the upbringing and control of their children.” It faced massive pushback from both parents and LGBTQ+ advocates.
Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images
Three Florida House bills — HB 1223, HB 1069, and HB 1320 — all target different aspects of gender and sexuality education in the state.
HB 1123 would extend the law to charter schools, and extend the restrictions beyond pre-kindergarten and third grade, banning conversations about gender and sexuality through eighth grade. For students in grades 9 through 12, conversations around such topics “must be age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students according to state standards,” the bill reads.
The bill would define “sex” as “an immutable biological characteristic,” leaving no room for individual self-identity. In all public K-12 schools, educators, other school staff, and students are not required to use a student’s pronoun if they are different from the student’s assigned gender at birth. School staff and educators will also be prohibited from telling students their own titles and pronouns if they differ from the gender assigned at birth. Additionally, school employees and contractors will be prohibited from asking students what their preferred titles and pronouns are.
Joe Riddle/Getty Images
Similarly, HB 1069 defines “sex” as “as determined by biology and reproductive function at birth” as “reproductive roles are binary, stable, and immutable.” The bill would limit education about “acquired immune deficiency syndromes, sexually transmitted diseases, or health education, when such instruction and curriculum material includes instruction on human sexuality” to students in grades 6 through 12.
The third bill, SB 1320, contains similar provisions to the previous two bills, including banning school employees from sharing their pronouns and asking students about them. It would also prohibit teaching about sexuality or gender identity from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade.
According to the ACLU, during the current legislative season, Florida lawmakers have filed at least 11 bills expressly targeting LGBTQ+ people.
Last year when the state was on fire Banning gender-affirming care for trans youth, and in 2021, enacted a law to ban trans youth from competing on contemporary sports teams with their gender identity. In January, a judge ordered that a lawsuit challenging the law be filed reopenedReviving the state’s legal battle for trans people in athletics.