Far-right Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed rHouse Bill 1557—colloquially known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill—into law late last month.
While the bill doesn't explicitly prevent teachers from saying the word "gay" in the classroom, it bans any "instruction" on sexuality and gender in the classroom from kindergarten to third grade, permitting only age-appropriate and developmentally-appropriate thereafter.
While proponents of the bill claim the legislation empowers parents with a say over what their children are learning, critics warn that the law will be applied unevenly, ultimately being weaponized against LGBTQ people. Because the bill doesn't define what qualifies as "instruction," there are fears that classroom interactions as innocuous as a teacher mentioning their same-sex spouse could be deemed a violation.
Already, proponents of the bill have embraced a number of damaging anti-LGBTQ tropes to justify the bill's existence. DeSantis' spokeswoman, Christina Pushaw, even said the legislation was an "anti-grooming" bill, and said that anyone supporting it was likely a "groomer," promoting the age-old, offensive nonsense that LGBTQ people must recruit children to be LGBTQ themselves
In reality, the legislation will almost certainly harm LGBTQ students whose only source of affirmation and information regarding their sexual orientation and gender identity lies with trusted educators and counselors
The bill's proponents have also tapped into conservative hysteria with largely unverified claims that graphic sexual education and "gender ideology" is being taught to young schoolchildren.
It was that hysteria that Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy alluded to in a recent question to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
"If you guys oppose this law that bans classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in K through 3, does the White House support that kind of classroom instruction before kindergarten?"
"Do you have examples of schools in Florida that are teaching kindergarteners about sex education?"
Of course, Doocy couldn't provide these examples, and Psaki soon struck to the heart at why the law is damaging to LGBTQ people:
"I think that's a relevant question, because I think this is a politically charged, harsh law that is putting parents and LGBTQ+ kids in a very difficult, heartbreaking circumstances, and so I actually believe that's a pretty relevant question."
People by and large agreed with Psaki.
They praised her for questioning the nonsense about premature sex education.
The effects of the Don't Say Gay law are only just beginning to reveal themselves.