Orlando Weekly readers react to the HB 1557, the 'Don't Say Gay' bill

'Knuckle draggers' and 'glitter bombs'

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Orlando Weekly readers react to the HB 1557, the 'Don't Say Gay' bill

Last week we reported on House Bill 1557, the controversial "Don't Say Gay" bill, passing the House and heading to the Senate ("Florida inches closer to another bad decision as 'Don't Say Gay' bill is poised to become law of the land," March 1). The bill making its way through the Florida legislature — and drawing fire from LGBT advocates and allies across the nation — would bar primary school teachers from any discussion of gender identity or sexual orientation with students. Further amendments suggested by the bill's sponsor would force schools to out queer children to their families. Overall, the bill is part of a slate of Republican-backed legislation that would limit the subjects that could be talked about in Florida schools. Odds are good that it will easily pass the Senate and land on Gov. Ron DeSantis' desk before the 2022 session is up.

@Theo Workman Kids ask questions. "Why does ___ have a rainbow flag? Why did Lil Nas X kiss another man?"

@Ron Betts In today's hypersexualized society, third-graders are indeed exposed to and thinking about sex. Not all of them, but enough to make me think we should not be taking the ability for teachers, who may be the only adult they feel they can talk to, off the table. I'm speaking as the proud parent of a trans child. Fortunately, he felt comfortable talking to us about what he was going through and we have been supportive throughout. Not every child is that fortunate.

@Caleb Bearden Man. Can't wait to see this kind of right-wing support behind gun laws to protect our children in schools, if protecting our children is what this homo and transphobia is about.

@Janet Ivey Priorities are very off kilter here.

@Christy Baker How this is even a relevant conversation is beyond me.

@Paul Latkowski And [DeSantis] called Florida a "citadel of freedom." I guess it is only for those on his side.

@Mig Dez I have checked the state website and I am not able to find any bill pertaining to "don't say gay." Is this satire or is the bill in question the Parents Rights Bill?

[Editor's note: On the off chance that this was a sincere question, here goes: Under the "Parental Rights in Education" bill (House Bill 1557/Senate Bill 1834), Florida school districts "may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels." Those who are currently saying things like "DeSantis never called it 'Don't Say Gay,' this is propaganda" or "I read the actual bill and 'gay' wasn't in there once" are being willfully obtuse.]

@Don Phelps Knuckle-draggers.

@Tracy Carpenter I propose we send glitter bombs to their offices weekly.

@Adrian Jones Shouldn't legislatures have a basic understanding of the Constitution? Why do Republican voters put up with this crap? All this will do is cost the state money defending it in the courts, where it will ultimately lose because you cannot have prior restraint on teachers' First Amendment rights.

@Liz Miller Interesting that the party of less government, personal freedom and anti-mandate, all of a sudden loves big government, restricting freedom and mandates.

@Nick Agon Kresky I'm just sick of y'all whining when you didn't SHOW UP to vote them out.

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