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Amendment that could out LGBTQ students withdrawn from Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill

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Posted at 1:44 PM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 16:44:50-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The amendment of Florida's controversial "Don't Say Gay" bill currently in the legislature that could forcibly out LGBTQ students has been withdrawn.

That amendment would have required teachers or the principal to disclose to parents within a 6-week span of time if their child said anything about identifying as LGBTQ. Representative Harding withdrew the amendment Tuesday afternoon. Floor debate on the bill is expected to start later Tuesday.

To read the bill in its entirety, click here.

LGBTQ advocates have fought back against what they call the "Don’t Say Gay" bill at the state Capitol, with protesters calling it "dangerous" and "bigoted." The group held signs reading the "censorship state" and charged Republicans with putting politics over people.

"This is outrageous pandering with real-world consequences," said Jon Maurer with LGBTQ civil rights group Equality Florida.

The effort comes as GOP lawmakers continue to advance the policy which bans discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in elementary classrooms. Republicans have said the bill protects parents' rights and keeps them in charge of a student's education, records and well-being while at school.

The "Don’t Say Gay" bill was just one of several policies opponents were labeling as "censorship" legislation under consideration this year. They also took issue with DeSantis' goal to ban critical race theory in schools and businesses, calling the bill's language too vague, worrying it would chill race education.