Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Florida families team up with Lambda Legal and SPLC for lawsuit against Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' law

Before it was passed in March, many people had serious problems with Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' law. Now, two lawsuits have been filed.

Now we are cooking.

From The Hill:

Civil rights groups, including Lambda Legal and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), in a lawsuit filed this week argued that a newly implemented Florida education law “silences and erases” LGBTQ+ students and families. 

 “The law, by design, chills speech and expression that have any connection, however remote, to sexual orientation or gender identity,” reads the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court on behalf of 12 plaintiffs. The complaint is the latest challenge to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, dubbed by its critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” law. Plaintiffs in the suit are seeking to block the enforcement of the law within four Florida school districts. 

 Under the law, which was signed by the state’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in March and took effect early this month, public primary school teachers are barred from engaging in classroom instruction related to sexual orientation or gender identity. Public school educators through high school may not address either topic in a manner that is not “age appropriate or developmentally appropriate” for their students. The measure also empowers parents to directly sue a school district if they are dissatisfied with its implementation of the law, which legal scholars have said will likely chill the speech of teachers fearful of unintentionally violating the law. 

 “This vigilante enforcement mechanism, combined with the law’s intentionally vague and sweeping scope, invites parents who oppose any acknowledgment whatsoever of the existence of LGBTQ+ people to sue, resulting in schools acting aggressively to silence students, parents, and school personnel,” the lawsuit, also filed by the Southern Legal Counsel (SLC) and private counsel Baker McKenzie, reads. 

 According to NBC News, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of two Florida couples and their children; Florida high school student Will Larkins; and CenterLink, an international member-based association of LGBTQ centers. 

 Larkins, the founder and president of the school's Queer Student Union, testified against the Parental Rights in Education bill on the Florida Senate floor in February. Then, in March, Larkins taught their history class about the 1969 Stonewall uprising, a dayslong protest that began after a routine police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village neighborhood. Video of Larkins' presentation went viral. 

 Plaintiffs David Dinan and Vikranth Gongidi, a married same-sex couple, said they are "deeply concerned about the negative effect" that the law could have on their family. Their children, who are 8 and 9 years old, are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit. 

 . . .Parents Jennifer and Matthew Cousins said they are afraid the law will harm their four children, particularly S.C., who is 12 and a rising seventh grader. S.C. came out as nonbinary last year and uses they/them pronouns, according to the complaint. 

 The Hill also said:

 Another lawsuit filed against the law in March calls the measure a “blatantly unconstitutional” attempt to stigmatize and erase LGBTQ+ identities in Florida public schools. The complaint filed by Equality Florida, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and others names DeSantis, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and other education officials as defendants.

'Fox News attacked LGBTQ people on over 100 days in the first half of 2022' & other Tue midday news briefs

Fox News attacked LGBTQ people on over 100 days in the first half of 2022 — including nearly 90% of days during Pride Month​ - That's Fox News for ya. 

Ted Cruz tries to mock queer people by announcing his new pronouns, looks like a complete idiot instead - 'Ted Cruz . . . looks like a complete idiot' is an evergreen statement. 

Record-setting college athlete says coming out as gay was the best thing he did for his career - Good for him. That's the point of it all. Feeling good about yourself and then excelling.