Florida Republicans advance legislation to restrict pronoun usage in schools
The Florida House of Representatives passed legislation on Friday that would restrict the use of preferred pronouns in schools, as part of a larger expansion of the state’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law.
The bill, which passed largely along party lines, would bar school employees from asking students for their pronouns and sharing their own pronouns if they “do not correspond to that person’s sex.”
It would also mandate that all public schools operate under the policy that “a person’s sex is an immutable biological trait and that it is false to ascribe to a person a pronoun that does not correspond to such person’s sex.”
Florida House Bill 1069 expands the “Don’t Say Gay” law’s restrictions on classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade to include prekindergarten through eighth grade.
Materials used for instruction on reproductive health would also now require the department’s approval rather than that of the local school board, and schools would be required to remove materials from libraries and classrooms within five days of receiving a complaint from parents.
The legislation passed the Florida House of Representatives in a 77-35 vote, with only two Republicans — state Reps. Demi Busatta Cabrera and Will Robinson — joining Democrats in voting against the bill.
The vote was notably held on the Transgender Day of Visibility. President Biden commemorated the day in a presidential proclamation that took aim at Republican legislatures across the country that have targeted transgender Americans.
“Together, we also have to keep challenging the hundreds of hateful State laws that have been introduced across the country, making sure every child knows that they are made in the image of God, that they are loved, and that we are standing up for them,” Biden said.
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