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Settlement Achieved in Challenge to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” Law

The settlement of the challenge against the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” law in Florida is a welcome and life-saving development and a win for the people of Florida. This decision is the direct result of activist and community efforts to fight harmful and discriminatory laws. These attacks were inflicted by elected officials and far-right extremists who value their own political capital over the lives of LGBTQ+ people, people of color, and other marginalized groups.

The win comes out of the testimony of hundreds of brave young people, organizers, activists, and community members, from countless protests in the streets and from innumerable challenging conversations in living rooms. Advocates spent countless hours making sure Florida voters would see the real-life impact of this legislation during their lobbying season. And their hard work paid off, and we can now make clear that LGBTQ+ people, our lives, and our history will not be erased.

The settlement was reached with the Florida State Board of Education, the Florida Department of Education, and various school districts. While not complete or perfect, students and teachers can now discuss sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida classrooms, provided it’s not part of instruction. There is now more clarity around what is allowed in Florida classrooms and libraries. Teachers can identify themselves as LGBTQ+ and have rainbow stickers in classrooms. This is a difference that can save lives.

While we celebrate this win, we know that it has also come at a cost and it is too late for some. The National LGBTQ Task Force, with an office in Miami and field staff dispatched across the state regularly, know from our discussions and work with partners that Florida students, youth, and families have been impacted—some even leaving the state if they could instead of living in a hostile environment or unable to seek gender-affirming care.

Our message to Governor DeSantis is clear—these kinds of discriminatory laws and any attempt to erase us will be fought until we win back our dignity, our access to critical healthcare, and our rights.

Rae Leiner, Field Director, National LGBTQ Task Force

Cathy Renna, Communications Director, National LGBTQ Task Force, 917-757-6123, [email protected]

The National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice, and equality for LGBTQ people. We are building a future where everyone can be free to be their entire selves in every aspect of their lives. Today, despite all the progress we have made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. Those barriers must go.