The White House has denounced a bill in Florida that would ban teachers from discussing LGBTQ people in primary school, which has been called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
“Every parent hopes that our leaders will ensure their children’s safety, protection, and freedom,” a White House spokesperson said. “Today, conservative politicians in Florida rejected those basic values by advancing legislation that is designed to target and attack the kids who need support the most – LGBTQI+ students, who are already vulnerable to bullying and violence just for being themselves. But make no mistake – this is not an isolated action.”
The statement is referring to H.B. 1557, which was passed by committees in both chambers of Florida’s legislature. LGBTQ advocates like Chasten Buttigieg has pointed out that LGBTQ teens are at a heightened risk of suicide and the bill would cut them off from help from their teachers.
Meanwhile, proponents of the bill, like the Log Cabin Republicans, have been comparing discussing LGBTQ families in school to pedophilia.
And the White House called out conservatives for that hateful tactic.
“At every step of the way, Republicans have peddled in cheap political attacks, instead of focusing on the issues parents, students, and teachers care about,” the White House statement said.
“Instead of making growing up even harder for our young people, President Biden and his administration are focused on keeping schools open, providing resources to combat learning loss, and supporting students’ mental health. The difference in leadership could not be more stark, and the Biden-Harris Administration will not shy away from holding leaders accountable for dangerous actions that hurt our nation’s students.”
“Just imagine what it would feel like to be a kid watching the leaders in your state bully you through legislation that tries to erase your existence,” the spokesperson continued. “These types of attacks are the root cause of the mental health crisis that LGBTQI+ [people] face.”
“The president wants LGBTQI+ young people who may be feeling scared or alone because of these legislative attacks to know that they are loved exactly for who they are, and that he won’t stop fighting for the protections and safety they deserve.”
Biden later tweeted about what he called the “hateful bill.”
I want every member of the LGBTQI+ community — especially the kids who will be impacted by this hateful bill — to know that you are loved and accepted just as you are. I have your back, and my Administration will continue to fight for the protections and safety you deserve. https://t.co/OcAIMeVpHL
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 8, 2022
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the bill has passed both chambers of Florida’s legislature, when it has only passed a committee in both chambers. We regret the error.