Biden tells LGBT+ children they are ‘accepted as they are’ as DeSantis backs ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

Comes as Florida considers legislation restricting discussion of LGBT+ identity

Eric Garcia
Wednesday 09 February 2022 16:40 GMT
Comments

President Joe Biden has spoken out against Florida’s so-called ‘don’t say gay’ bill, telling members of the LGBT+ community he has their back.

“I want every member of the LGBTQI+ community – especially the kids who will be impacted by this hateful bill – to know that you are loved and accepted just as you are. I have your back, and my administration will continue to fight for the protections and safety you deserve,” he tweeted.

His statement comes as the White House denounced the legislation in Florida that would restrict schools’ abilities to teach about sexual orientation and gender and described it as a “targeted attack” on LGBT+ children.

The Florida Senate’s education committee passed the legislation on Tuesday.

The legislation’s text says: “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

Furthermore, it says parents “may bring an action against a school district to obtain a declaratory judgment that a school district procedure or practice violates this paragraph and seek injunctive relief. A court may award damages and shall award reasonable attorney fees and court costs to a parent who receives declaratory or injunctive relief”.

Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis indicated his support for the bill, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

“My goal is to educate kids on the subjects, math, reading, science, all the things that are so important. I don’t want the schools to kind of be a playground for ideological disputes,” Mr DeSantis said in a press conference on Tuesday, according to News4Jax.com.

But White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki denounced the legislation.

“Every parent hopes that our leaders will ensure their children’s safety, protection, and freedom,” she said. “Today, conservative politicians in Florida rejected those basic values by advancing legislation that is designed to target and attack the kids who need support the most – LGBTQI+ students, who are already vulnerable to bullying and violence just for being themselves.”

Ms Psaki also added that the legislation was not an isolated incident but comes as Republican legislators try to limit what students can read an learn in their schools.

“This is who these kids are. And these ... these legislators are trying to make it harder for them to be who they are,” she said.

Last year, Mr DeSantis signed legislation that said that a transgender girl cannot play in competitive sports without first showing a birth certificate showing she was a girl when she was born.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in