Sep 8, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Miami school board votes against recognizing LGBTQ History Month

Members and supporters of the LGBTQ community attend the "Say Gay Anyway" rally in Miami Beach, Florida on March 13, 2022

Members and supporters of the LGBTQ community attend a "Say Gay Anyway" rally in Miami Beach, Fla., on March 13. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

The Miami-Dade School Board late Wednesday rejected a measure recognizing October as LGBTQ History Month, fearing that doing so would violate the state's Parental Rights in Education Bill, dubbed by critics as "Don't Say Gay," Politico reports.

Why it matters: The meeting lasted hours and drew protests from parents, teachers and students. It's the latest example of how school boards have emerged as ground zero for culture wars, particularly in the Sunshine State.

Driving the news: The 8-1 vote also blocked a proposal that would've taught 12th graders about two landmark civil rights cases, including Obergefell v. Hodges, which recognized same-sex marriage.

  • "I do believe this is in direct violation of our parental rights bill," board member Christi Fraga, who voted against the measure, said, per Politico.
  • "If not so directly, in spirit, it is. Because this is saying a full endorsement in the entire district of this month — that includes kindergarten through 12th grade."
  • Lucia Baez-Geller, who introduced the proposals, said Wednesday that the "anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric is a tool used by some to spread misinformation," per the Miami Herald.
  • "This is just plain disinformation," she said.

The big picture: Florida's Parental Rights in Education bill, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in March, bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through 3rd grade.

  • The bill has sparked nationwide backlash and prompted protests among students and educators and criticism from corporate leaders and businesses.
  • Last month, attorneys general from 16 states sued to block the controversial education bill, contending it lacks educational merit and harms students and teachers.

Go deeper... 16 states sue to block Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law

Go deeper