‘OK to say gay’ rally held outside St. Pete city hall

Critics are nervous the affect of the Parental Rights Training Invoice will hurt the wellbeing of LGBTQ+ youth.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Individuals rallied and marched in St. Petersburg to specific opposition towards the “Parental Rights in Training” invoice, or what’s been dubbed because the “Do not Say Homosexual” invoice.

The occasion on Saturday was named the “OK To Say Homosexual” rally and started outdoors Metropolis Corridor. 

This week, Florida lawmakers handed the “Parental Rights in Training” invoice, HB 1557, which might bar curriculum mentioning sexual orientation and gender identification in pre-kindergarten by way of third grade, but it surely additionally leaves the door open to restrictions in older grades if the instruction will not be deemed “age-appropriate.” 

Among the many audio system on the rally was highschool junior Samuel Vanmiddlesworth, who identifies as a trans male utilizing he or they pronouns. 

“Will probably be upsetting and it will likely be so troublesome, particularly for youthful queer individuals,” Vanmiddlesworth mentioned.

Vanmiddlesworth and others towards the invoice fear colleges shall be a much less protected area for LGBTQ+ college students due to the message it sends.

His mom, Beth Vanmiddlesworth, mentioned she nervous her son would not be alive as we speak had it not been for the help of different individuals, together with these in class. 

The invoice might reinforce struggles that LGBTQ+ youth already face, she mentioned.

“I used to drop him off at college realizing he’d in all probability be bullied that day and there was nothing I might do to stop that,” she mentioned on the rally.

However college students like Samuel mentioned he feels hope due to latest solidarity towards the invoice. 

RELATED: Authorized skilled advises colleges to hunt authorized counsel and talk about ‘HB 1557’ with academics

Those that attended the rally mentioned they hope LGBTQ+ kids know they’re supported no matter what legal guidelines are in place.

“The love is vital, not the identification, not the gender,” Kevin Vanmiddlesworth, Samuel’s father mentioned. “Simply settle for your kids it doesn’t matter what and that is the primary message of as we speak.”

Opponents argue the invoice’s language is imprecise and can burden faculty districts, which might result in lawsuits. 

Supporters argue it is about preserving the rights of oldsters who don’t want faculty districts or academics deciding to show their kids about sexual orientation or gender identification after they’re within the early years of elementary faculty. 

Whereas the invoice’s language would not outright ban dialogue, critics mentioned the political discourse over the invoice and its passage already sends a dangerous message to college students.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signaled his help for the overall premise of the invoice however has not indicated whether or not he’ll signal it into regulation.  

RELATED: Florida’s controversial ‘Do not Say Homosexual’ invoice passes Senate, heads to DeSantis’ desk

Latest news
Related news