Critics slam Florida GOP's 'Don't Say Gay' bill that would ban discussing LGBTQ issues in public schools
Florida governor Ron DeSantis. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Not content to merely ban the teaching of topics such as critical race theory, Florida Republican lawmakers are now trying to ban public school teachers from discussing LGBTQ issues as well.

The Guardian reports that a GOP-led Florida State House committee is moving legislation that critics are calling a "Don't Say Gay" bill that would bar schools from talking about sexuality and gender identity, despite the fact that such topics have been part of sex education lessons for decades.

The bill gives parents the right to sue schools that broach LGBTQ topics as a way "to reinforce fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding upbringing and control of their children."

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Sam Ames, director of advocacy and government affairs at the LGBTQ advocacy organization the Trevor Project, tells the Guardian that the legislation's aim is to "erase young LGBTQ+ students across Florida, forcing many back into the closet by policing their identity and silencing important discussions about the issues they face."

Jon Harris Maurer, public policy director for LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Florida, similarly shamed Republicans for trying to force gay people back into the closet.

"We’re parents, students and teachers," he said. "We are your brothers and sisters. Conversations about us aren’t something dangerous that should be banned."