Feds Hint at Possible Legal Action Over Florida's “Parental Rights in Education” Bill
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona has hinted at possible legal action against Florida following approval of the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, a measure that opponents have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The GOP controlled Florida Senate passed the bill Monday by a vote of 22-17, mostly along party lines. It forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. It now moves on to the desk of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it into law.
In a statement issued to the media Tuesday Secretary Cardona said “the Department of Education has made clear that all schools receiving federal funding must follow federal civil rights law, including Title IX’s protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” He accused Florida Lawmakers who voted for the bill of “prioritizing hateful bills that hurt some of the students most in need.”
He concluded by saying that the U.S. Department of Education stands “with our LGBTQ+ students in Florida and across the country” and he urged Florida leaders “to make sure all their students are protected and supported.”
Protesters against the bill filled the Florida Capitol again Monday ahead of the vote. Since its inception, the measure has drawn intense criticism from LGBTQ advocates, students, national Democrats, the White House and the entertainment industry, amid increased attention on Florida as Republicans push culture war legislation and DeSantis ascends in the GOP as a potential 2024 presidential candidate.