‘Grave abuse of power’: LGBTQ advocates sue Florida over new law | LGBTQ News

The lawsuit accuses the US state of violating the rights of LGBTQ students and their families with its ‘Do Not Say Gay’ law.

Human rights advocates in the US state of Florida have filed a lawsuit against Governor Ron DeSantis over a controversial law which they say seeks to marginalize LGBTQ students and their families.

Named bill “Don’t say gay” By critics, the bill was signed into law earlier this week banning classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.

The legal challenge, filed in US federal court in Tallahassee on behalf of Florida Equality and Family Equality on Thursday, alleges that the law violates constitutionally protected rights to liberties. speech, equal protection and due process of students and families.

“Attempts to control young minds through state censorship – and to degrade LGBTQ lives by denying their reality – is a egregious abuse of power,” it said.

“The Supreme Court of the United States has repeatedly affirmed that LGBTQ people and their families stay at home according to our constitutional order. The state of Florida has no right to declare them outlaws, or label its allies as outlaws, by punishing schools where someone dares to assert their identity and dignity. ”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis defended the law as reasonable [File: Chris O’Meara/AP Photo]

Florida law allows parents to sue a school district, at the district’s expense, if they believe the action is not being enforced.

It states: “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties about sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in grades K through 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or appropriate. developmentally appropriate for the student according to state standards.”

DeSantis and other Republicans have repeatedly said the measure makes sense and that parents, not teachers, should teach topics about sexual orientation and gender identity to their children. their.

“We’re going to make sure that parents can send their children to school to get an education, not to teach,” the Florida governor said, clapping his hands before signing the bill on Monday.

But many critics argue that the language of the law, particularly the phrases “classroom instruction” and “age-appropriate,” can be so broad that discussion in any class can lead to problems. can cause lawsuits, creating a classroom atmosphere where teachers will avoid subjects altogether.

Civil rights groups, as well as progressive lawmakers, celebrities and US companies, have spoken out against the legislation as an attack on the rights of LGBTQ community members. US President Joe Biden last month also described the measure as “obnoxious”.

“This law discriminates and will directly harm Florida students and teachers, who have the right to receive school information without political censorship,” said the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) ) speak this week. “In a time of increasing attacks on transnational youth, we need more inclusive education, not less.”

The lawsuit was filed Thursday to block the law from going into effect and also designates Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and other education officials as defendants.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona met LGBTQ students and their family members at an Orlando school on Thursday, privately discussing how the law affects their lives. surname.

The visit was one of several Biden administration events that showed support for the community throughout the day, including the president’s proclamation recognizing Transgender Day.

“We know that while many transgender students receive valuable support at school, many other students face significant challenges because of the hostility others have directed at them. “This includes an increasing number of state laws that bully and threaten LGBTQI+ students and their families.”

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