Several families have filed a lawsuit against Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, which censors any mention of LGBTQ+ people in the classroom.
The plaintiffs — a group of parents, students, and members of Centerlink, a coalition of LGBTQ+ community centers across the country — filed the 53-page complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. They allege that HB 1557, (“Don’t Say Gay”) violates the First Amendment through overbreadth, depriving people of freedom of speech and expression. They also allege that the law’s vagueness violates the Fourteenth Amendment, depriving plaintiffs of due process and equal protection before the law.
While some versions of the Don’t Say Gay bill have existed for decades, Florida’s passage of the law has spurred more than a dozen states to propose similar bills since April, per NPR. Six states, including Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Oklahoma, have actually enacted laws censoring discussions of LGBTQ+ people or issues in schools, according to the legislative tracker Movement Advancement Project. Five additional states have laws that require parental notification of LGBTQ+-inclusive curricula, and allow parents to opt their children out.