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Florida Legislature passes bill restricting gender identity, sexual orientation talks in classrooms

Kate Payne
Students, teachers and advocates in South Florida are speaking out against the so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill. Critics of the measure say it could have a chilling effect on teachers who try to create safe spaces for LGBTQ kids.

Florida lawmakers on Tuesday passed a bill restricting speech in public school classrooms on sexual orientation and gender identity, sparked by one lawmaker's concern that children were being "trendy" in coming out as gay.

The legislation — titled "Parental Rights in Education" (HB 1557) but dubbed by critics the "Don’t Say Gay" bill — now heads to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has suggested he will sign it into law. If so, it goes into effect July 1.

The 22-17 vote came after weeks of national attention over the measure, which has grabbed the attention of international newspapers, Hollywood actors and the White House.

Read more from our news partner at The Tallahassee Democrat.