The bill is awaiting signature by Governor Ron Desantis.
Biden administration officials met with Florida LGBTQ students and their families at a virtual roundtable on the now-dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” bill, and other legal efforts have been deemed anti-LGBTQ.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary of Health Rachel L. Levin listened to the students and their family members discussed concerns and fears about the impact of such a bill.
The two were advised on what resources could be provided to support the Florida LGBTQ community.
“Laws across the country, including Florida, have targeted and tried to bully some of our most vulnerable students and families, and have created divisions in our schools,” Cardona said in a statement.
He added: “My message to you is that this administration will not stand for any kind of intimidation or discrimination, and we will use our authority to provide protection, support and opportunities for LGBTQI + students and all students.”
The Educational Parents’ Rights Bill, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by LGBTQ activists, will limit what classrooms can teach about sexual orientation and gender identity.
Under the law, these lessons “cannot occur in kindergarten from grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally suitable for students by state standards.”
The bill would allow parents to sue school districts involved in these matters. The bill is awaiting a decision from Governor Ron Desantis.
The Biden administration has condemned the move as “disgusting.”
The White House said in a statement on February 8 that “every parent expects our leaders to ensure the safety, security and independence of their children.”
It continues: “Today, Florida’s conservative politicians have rejected legislation advancing those core values that are designed to target and attack children who need the most support – LGBTQI + students, who are already at risk for bullying and violence.”
After the bill was passed in the Florida House and Senate, Cardona denounced the legislators responsible for passing it.
“The Department of Education has made it clear that all federally funded schools must comply with federal civil rights law, which includes Title IX protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” Cardona said.
Levin and Cardona have shared the mental health resources and support currently available for these students with students and families.
“We need to help LGBTQI youth, their parents and families achieve the good health and quality care they deserve,” Levine said. “President Biden is a champion of our community. The president supports equality and works to ensure the representation of everyone. And it gives the people a voice, a chance to influence change, to help people understand the different needs of our nation.”
Laws targeting the LGBTQ community have sent shockwaves across the United States
States continue to debate whether trans youth should have access to gender-guaranteed health care, whether trans girls should be allowed to engage in sports, or whether LGBTQ content should be taught in schools.