D.C. and 15 states sue to block Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill

They filed a motion Wednesday seeking approval to submit a friend-of-the-court brief.

click to enlarge D.C. and 15 states sue to block Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill
Photo by Dave Decker
Saying the law will “stigmatize and harm LGBTQ youth,” attorneys general from 15 states and the District of Columbia are seeking to aid challengers to a new Florida law that restricts instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation in Florida public schools.

The states and the District of Columbia sought approval this week to file a brief in support of a constitutional challenge filed by the LGBTQ-advocacy groups Equality Florida and Family Equality and other plaintiffs.

The law (HB 1557) prevents instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade and requires that such instruction be “age-appropriate … in accordance with state academic standards” in older grades.

Republican lawmakers titled the measure the “Parental Rights in Education” bill.

Opponents labeled it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The state has asked U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor to dismiss the challenge.

But the 15 states and the District of Columbia argue that the case should not be dismissed.

They filed a motion Wednesday seeking approval to submit a friend-of-the-court brief. They also attached a copy of the brief.

“In short, Florida’s extreme approach implies the absence of a legitimate pedagogical purpose, rendering its restrictions on speech and targeting of a minority highly suspect,” the brief said. “And (the 15) states’ experiences show that reasonable policies are available that include LGBTQ people, foster free speech, and accommodate parents. Florida’s turn, instead, to restricting speech and targeting a minority supplies additional evidence of the act’s unconstitutionality.”

The 15 states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Oregon.
Scroll to read more Florida News articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]