‘Don’t Say Gay’ Settlement Explained

Safe Space stickers. Photo via genderinclusiveschools.org.

A sense of victory washed over the LGBTQ community when news broke that Gov. Ron DeSantis admitted defeat in a lawsuit over the notorious 2022 “Don’t Say Gay” law. The law banned instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The statute was written so vaguely that many districts, even those friendly to the LGBTQ community, quickly over-complied. Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) were dissolved, teachers worried about having pictures of their spouse on their desks, and books that included LGBTQ characters were preemptively banned from libraries.

The law was enforced through fear and intimidation. Now the state is backing down, but what does that mean?

Wilton Manors’ city attorney, Kerry Ezrol, briefed city commissioners on some details during the March 12 meeting.

“The settlement memorializes positions taken by the state in response to challenges made by the plaintiffs,” Ezrol said.

  • Only instruction on sex and gender identity is banned. Independent questions and discussions are allowed
  • Teachers are allowed to respond to questions or LGBTQ issues raised by students
  • The law allows books that have LGBTQ characters or mentions LGBTQ lives
  • Students can talk about LGBTQ family members
  • Teachers may intervene in cases of LGBTQ-based bullying
  • Safe Space stickers can stay

The deal also forces the state to tell districts what is in the settlement and how often misinterpreted topics are to be addressed.


DeSantis Folds On ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Fight


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