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The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill (HB 1557/SB 1834), which bans teachers up to third grade from discussing gender identity or sexual orientation in school curriculum, has been signed into law by Governor DeSantis today. This bill pretends to solve a problem that dose not exist. The Governor and other supporters of the bill argue it will prevent youth from being indoctrinated. In reality, it deprives LGBTQ+ youth of the opportunity to see themselves reflected in the classroom and their non-LGBTQ+ peers from learning about LGBTQ+ communities.

This bill harms all youth. Silencing students on these topics creates an incubator for bullies and allows for the spreading of misinformation about the LGBTQ+ community. This bill also restricts the education of LGBTQ+ students. Based on 20+ years of research conducted by GLSEN, it is clear LGBTQ+ youth who attend schools with inclusive curriculum have higher GPAs, a greater sense of belonging, are more likely to pursue post-secondary education, along with many other benefits that promote long-term wellbeing and achievement. Now, parents can decline any mental, emotional and physical health services available to their children at school, and schools will be required to notify parents of their child's use of school health services.
Naples Pride remains as a resource for our LGBTQ+ youth to turn to. We continue to fight legislation like this, that spews hate at the LGBTQ+ community. No matter how much homophobic hate is thrown our way, this bill won’t erase us. In the end, love always wins.


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