Florida's Don't Say Gay law expanded to all grade levels

Tallahassee, Florida - Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his GOP allies have followed up on threats to expand the state's controversial "Don't Say Gay" law to all grade levels.

Ron DeSantis' state board appointees have approved an extension of Florida's Don't Say Gay law through grade 12.
Ron DeSantis' state board appointees have approved an extension of Florida's Don't Say Gay law through grade 12.  © Collage: Sean Rayford / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP & Jon Cherry / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

At the governor's request, the Florida Board of Education on Wednesday moved to extend the Don't Say Gay law, officially known as the "Parental Rights in Education Act," through grade 12.

The anti-LGBTQ+ law as originally signed in March 2022 prohibited discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in Florida public schools from kindergarten through third grade.

The expansion did not have to go through the state legislature. Instead, it went to a vote before the Florida Board of Education after being put forward by the Education Department, both of which are led by DeSantis appointees.

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Opponents have pointed out that the expanded law could have an even more detrimental effect on the mental health of Florida youth.

Republicans ramp up attacks on LGBTQ+ Floridians

The announcement of the Don't Say Gay extension comes amid a growing wave of attacks on LGBTQ+ rights in Florida, with Republican lawmakers sponsoring bills targeting gender-affirming care, bathroom use, athletic participation, drag performances, and other aspects of public life.

The state board approved DeSantis' latest request as rumors circulate that the far-right governor may be taking aim at the White House in 2024.

Cover photo: Collage: Sean Rayford / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP & Jon Cherry / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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