Hundreds rally in Orlando against controversial bills in Tallahassee

ORLANDO, Fla. — A coalition, calling themselves Floridians Mobilizing Against Hate, held a “Rally for Our Collective Rights” at Orlando’s City Hall on Saturday to protest legislative proposals coming out of Tallahassee.

The group wants to raise awareness of bills being passed by the Florida Legislature that they claim are attacking the rights of women, immigrants, people of color, trans youth and LGBTQ+ communities.

Channel 9 has reported on measures aimed at banning discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.

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Supporters claim this protects children who are too young for those conversations.

According to a news release from the coalition, these bills are part of a nationwide effort to scapegoat marginalized communities, stoke racism, sexism, anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ sentiment, and turn school and work environments into political battlegrounds.

“What we have is legislatures that are supposed to make a safer Florida and a more accepting Florida working against us,” said rally participant Joel Morales.

Read: Florida GOP ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill advances in House

Speakers at Saturday’s rally included Mayor Buddy Dyer, Commissioner Patty Sheehan and State Rep. Anna Eskamani, as well as representatives from faith-based groups, activists and schools from around Central Florida.

“We will continue to support our LGBTQ+ community because Orlando is and will always continue to be a safe haven for the LGBTQ+ community,” said Dyer.

The rally was moderated by the director of communications for Equality Florida Brandon Wolf and Tatiana Quiroga, executive director of Come Out With Pride.

Read: Local lawmaker pushes bill that requires instruction on significant events in Black history

“We stand here together because no teacher should feel unwelcomed in their own classroom and no child should lose their safe space due to hate,” said Wendy Doromal, president of the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association.

Channel 9 will continue to follow the legislative session and let you know what the governor signs into law.

Read: ‘Rally for Our Collective Rights’ being held on Saturday at Orlando City Hall

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