Florida Progressives Fail to Kill the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law in Landmark Settlement

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Florida Progressives Fail to Kill the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law in Landmark Settlement

Remember when progressives in Florida sought to use lawfare to take down Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act? It appears that their efforts were all for naught.

In a settlement announced Monday, the State of Florida and the plaintiffs challenging the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law have come to an agreement that seeks to balance the educational policy with the rights of LGBTQ individuals. The lawsuit has concluded with both parties agreeing to clarifications designed to mitigate concerns over discrimination and censorship.

The state of Florida settled a multi-year suit Monday against the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law, which limits how LGBTQ topics can be discussed and presented in schools.

The settlement agreement clarifies language of the 2022 Parental Rights in Education Act, keeping it in place but toning down what LGBTQ advocates in the state warned could illegally limit their rights.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R-Fla.) office celebrated the settlement as a victory for his policy agenda.

“We fought hard to ensure this law couldn’t be maligned in court, as it was in the public arena by the media and large corporate actors,” state general counsel Ryan Newman said in a statement. “We are victorious, and Florida’s classrooms will remain a safe place under the Parental Rights in Education Act.”

The law prevented educators from discussing LGBTQ topics with elementary students and was later expanded to high school students, raising concerns over censorship and civil liberties due to its vague language. Multiple LGBTQ rights groups sued the state over the bill when it was signed into law.

The agreement stipulates that the Florida Department of Education must inform school districts that the law does not prohibit all references to LGBTQ persons, issues, or literature in the classroom. The objective is to alleviate fears that the law’s vague language could be abused to promote discrimination against LGBTQ students and teachers.

Both DeSantis’ team and the LGBTQ activists who filed the lawsuit have expressed satisfaction with the outcome. Ryan Newman, general counsel for the State of Florida said: “We are victorious, and Florida’s classrooms will remain a safe place under the Parental Rights in Education Act.”

Roberta Kaplan, who represented the plaintiffs, lauded the settlement as “a major victory for the many thousands of LGBTQ+ students, teachers, parents, and their allies throughout Florida.”

As a condition of the settlement, classroom instruction must remain neutral on sexual orientation and gender identity. This means educators are not allowed to teach that heterosexuality is superior to other sexual orientations.

Looking ahead, this settlement could influence how similar laws are interpreted and enforced in other states that have passed similar legislation. It offers a glimpse into how compromises can be reached on these issues.

It is also worth noting that the outcome of this settlement essentially reflects what proponents of the law were trying to accomplish in the first place. Despite the false narratives promoted by Democrats and their close friends and allies in the activist media, the law was never intended to disallow all mentions of sexuality and gender identity in K-12 classrooms. Rather, it was passed to stop those seeking to indoctrinate children into progressive ideas on sexuality and gender.

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