White House slams DeSantis’ proposed expansion of ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill as ‘utterly wrong’

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
Greg Nash
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addresses reporters during the daily briefing at the White House on Friday, March 10, 2023.

The White House on Wednesday called a proposed expansion of a controversial Florida law restricting discussion of gender and sexuality in the classroom “wrong” and part of a concerning trend of anti-LGBTQ legislation. 

“It’s wrong. It’s completely, utterly wrong,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a briefing. 

Jean-Pierre was asked about a proposed rule from the Florida Board of Education that would expand restrictions first passed under a law dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” by critics to include grades four through 12. The existing law, which was signed in March 2022, bans classroom instruction on gender and sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade. 

“Make no mistake, this is part of a disturbing and dangerous trend that we’re seeing across the country of legislation that are anti-LGBTQI+, anti-trans in a way we have not seen in some time,” Jean-Pierre said. “We’re talking about students, we’re talking about educators we’re talking about just individuals.” 

Jean-Pierre added that the White House “will continue to fight for the dignity of Americans.” 

The White House has previously criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) over the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, as well as efforts to ban mask mandates in schools and his decision to send migrants who crossed the southern border to the liberal enclave of Martha’s Vineyard. 

DeSantis is viewed as a likely 2024 Republican presidential candidate. 

Biden last June signed a sweeping executive order that aimed to protect LGBTQ youth from a raft of conservative state laws, like the one in Florida. 

The order directed the Department of Health and Human Services to release new guidance for states on how to expand access to comprehensive health care for LGBT patients and orders the Education Department to release a sample school policy that is inclusive of LGBT students. 

Tags Karine Jean-Pierre Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis white house

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