Feb 21, 2022 - News

"Don't Say Gay" amendment riles bill's opponents

Illustration of a set of lockers with the colors of the rainbow flag

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Critics of the "Don't Say Gay" bill were further outraged Monday with a new amendment to the proposed law.

State of play: An amendment filed by Rep. Joe Harding (R-Williston) to his House Bill 1557 (cross-filed in the Senate by Sen. Dennis Baxley) would require schools to inform parents of their child's sexual orientation even in cases where a school employee suspects a student could face abuse or neglect at home if the parents found out.

  • There would be a six-week deadline to tell the family.

Between the lines: The amendment removes an exemption from disclosure for cases of potential abuse, neglect or abandonment.

  • Harding didn't respond to requests for comment by the Tampa Bay Times.

But, but, but: Rep. Ana Eskamani (D-Orlando) filed another amendment that would allow students to sue the Florida Department of Education for damages and attorney fees for causing "irreparable harm" by revealing their sexual orientation.

What they're saying: "Listen, there's no form of this bill where it's a good bill," state Rep. Michael Grieco (D-Miami Beach) told the Tampa Bay Times. "But it seems like every time I look at what's going on, it gets worse."

What's next: The House votes on the bill Tuesday. If it passes, it'll head to Gov. Ron DeSantis' desk.


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