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Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava statement on Florida legislature passage of "Don't Say Gay" bill

MIAMI ( March 08, 2022 )

Today, the Florida State Senate passed the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill – which had previously passed the state House – with all Democrats and two Republicans opposed. The bill will now go to Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it. The bill will prohibit the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, while also empowering schools to notify parents of students suspected of being LGBTQ+. The bill passed despite widespread condemnation from students, educators, and organizations such as the American Bar Association. In response to the bill’s passage, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava released the following statement:

“Schools are meant to be open places of learning, yet this bill erases and stigmatizes entire families and communities.

“I can’t think of anything more damaging to our students than prohibiting open discussion about their identities, their families, their feelings, and the challenges they may face as they mature and navigate the world.

“While its supporters claim they are seeking to protect students, this bill encourages schools to out students whom they suspect of being LGBTQ+ to their families, putting children at risk of abuse, ostracism, and suicide. It will force countless young people back into the closet, which will create lasting harm.

“As mayor of Miami-Dade County and the parent of a gay child, I stand in solidarity with the young people of Florida, who are learning who they are, how they’d like to live their lives, and where they can go for help. Our state’s leaders should be creating more resources and assistance for those students who have nowhere else to turn.

“I will use every resource at my disposal to lift up and celebrate all families. We will not move back to a time when LGBTQ+ people were openly harassed and abused for who they are.

“In short, I say ‘gay.’”