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From quoting the Bible to Harvey Milk: Here's how local politicians reacted to the Senate's approval of the "Don't Say Gay" bill

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

The “Parental Rights in Education” or “Don’t Say Gay” bill has made its way to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk and local politicians on both sides of the aisle are responding.

The bill would limit some discussions of gender identity and sexuality in K-12 schools in Florida.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings Tweeted their support for the LGBTQ community after the bill was approved by the Senate on Tuesday.

Dyer says, “Please know your city has your back and together we will continue the work to make Orlando a welcoming, inclusive place for all residents of all ages.” 

While Demings says, “These bills are harmful to students and impede on their rights to have a safe and diverse learning environment. Students are not political pawns.”

Democratic state representatives Anna Eskamani and Carlos Guillermo Smith, who opposed the bill, Tweeted about the political ramifications if the bill becomes law. 

Eskamani says, “We will not lose hope or drop the pressure. If Gov. Ron DeSantis doesn’t veto this bill, we will remember in November.”  

And Guillermo Smith, referencing a similar bill introduced in the Georgia legislature on Wednesday, says, “Florida’s homophobia is contagious.” 

At the national level, Democratic U.S. Representative Val Demings who represents parts of Central Florida called the bill unforgivable in a Tweet. 

Demings says, “Harvey Milk said 'hope will never be silent.' We will not be silenced.”

Not many politicians have come out in direct support of the bill, except for Republican State Representative Dennis Baxley who sponsored it. 

Baxley Tweets, “We will always be on the side of parents and they should be empowered to take responsibility for their children."

Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law before the session ends.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.