In the aftermath of Florida’s “don’t say gay” bill, seven candidates that are openly LGBTQ+ won their primaries Tuesday night. LGBTQ+ representation in the Florida legislature will triple if they are able to beat their republican rivals in November. The candidates are running for state House or Senate seats in Florida and have advanced to the general election in November.
Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis, who’s responsible for signing the “don’t say gay” bill into law, also won his primary last night. The bill bans “instruction” about gender identity or sexual orientation for students in kindergarden through the third grade “or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” The law also requires educators to alert parents about “critical decisions affecting a student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being,” which many fear will result in teachers feeling forced to out LGBTQ+ students. Educators are only exempt from having to alert parents if they believe it will result in the abuse, neglect or mistreatment of the child.
LGBTQ+ activists are hopeful that more representation in the Florida state legislature will change how the state is dealing with LGBTQ issues, particularly those that pertain to LGBTQ youth.