The Florida Senate passed the anti-LGBTQ education bill known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill Tuesday, despite stark opposition from Democrats, rights advocates and many students and educators. The bill, which would ban discussions of sexuality and gender identity in schools, now heads to the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis, who has voiced support for the measure. On Tuesday, state Senator Shevrin Jones, Florida’s first openly gay member of the Senate, made an emotional plea to his colleagues during debate.
Sen. Shevrin Jones: “And to those who think you can legislate gay people away, I’m sorry, you cannot. I think you should spend your time legislating to protect them. … So, to those children who were out there yesterday and to every person who has been rejected by anyone, we love you. Thank you for showing up every single day as your true, authentic self. Keep going.”