DeSantis signs 5 new bills into law targeting the LGBTQ community

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed five new controversial bills into law on Wednesday.

The laws ban gender-affirming care for minors, fines venues that admit children to adult performances, and require individuals to use bathroom facilities that correspond to their biological sex in certain public spaces and expands the controversial parental rights in education act, nicknamed the “Don’t say gay” bill.

The parental rights in education bill enacted last year banned instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity for grades K through third. Wednesday’s signing means the ban now covers pre-k through eighth grade.


“If a parent wants to engage in that with their kids at those ages, then that’s up to them, but we should not be putting that in the curriculum in school,” DeSantis said.

The new law also makes changes to how books can be challenged in school districts, and it prevents the forced use of pronouns.

“We’re not doing the pronoun Olympics, it’s not happening here,” DeSantis added.

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LGBTQ advocates said the consequences of these bills are devastating.

“It is legalized bullying of LGBTQ youth,” said Carlos Guillermo-Smith from Equality Florida.

Orange County mother Jennifer Cousins told Channel 9 that this law does not respect the rights of LGBTQ parents and families.

“My parental rights are going to be violated by laws like this because it’s going to allow people who are not accepting of families like mine where I have two queer children to dictate what my children can learn in school,” Cousins said

“They want us to be invisible or create an environment that is so dangerous to our existence that we feel compelled to want to leave the state,” Guillermo-Smith added.

On Wednesday, the governor also signed a bill that affects what bathrooms people can use.

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That law applies to certain facilities, places like schools, correctional buildings, and government buildings, like city hall, and there are penalties for anyone who violates the law.

This means people can face jail time for using bathrooms that don’t match their biological sex…

“The simple act of being able to go to the bathroom has been taken away from our kids,” said Jennifer Solomon, a parent of a transgender child. “As parents in the state. We are not being respected and our children are not being respected.”

The governor said the bills are meant to protect women and children, but critics disagree and claim the bills are just hateful.

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The new law applies to public schools and other public spaces, and under the new law, anyone entering a restroom that doesn’t match their sex at birth could be charged with trespassing.

Advocates said what this bill really does is harm the LGBTQ community.

“My child goes to school all day and must think about whether they have to go to the bathroom they’re not going to be able to. They are not concentrating on math. They’re not able to be in a safe environment to learn,” Solomon said.

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