Florida GOP Lawmaker Proposes ‘Don’t Display Gay’ Bill to Ban Pride Flag From Government Properties

Author: Donald Padgett

Government entities in Florida might be barred from flying or displaying a Pride flag on its premises under a “don’t display gay” bill introduced by a conservative Republican for the upcoming 2024 legislative session.

Earlier this week Florida State Rep. David Borrero filed HB 901, which would prevent certain government buildings, including public schools, from displaying any form of the Pride flag.

“A governmental entity may not erect or display a flag that represent[s] a political viewpoint, including, but not limited to, a politically partisan, racial, sexual orientation and gender, or political ideology viewpoint,” HB 901 reads. “The governmental entity must remain neutral when representing political viewpoints in displaying or erecting a flag.”

The bill defines a “governmental entity” as “a governmental agency, a local government, or another unit of local government and includes public schools, public colleges, and public universities.”

Reaction to the bill from local advocates was swift and defiant.

“If conservative lawmakers won’t stop trying to erase us, we won’t stop showing up to oppose them,” Equality Florida posted to social media in response.

“This administration keeps boasting about how free and welcoming the state of Florida is,” Robert Boo, Pride Center of Florida, told local ABC affiliate WSVN. “Yet, they keep focusing on things like this.”

Last year, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the controversial “don’t say gay” bill into law, limiting discussion of sexual and gender identity subjects throughout the K-12 public school systems.

The law states “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards,” and further mandates parents be informed of all issues that may impact a child’s mental, emotional, or physical well-being.

The bill’s fate remains uncertain, however. A similar bill failed to gain support in an earlier legislative session. SB 668 would have limited government agencies to a list of approved flags to be displayed, such as the POW-MIA and Firefighter Memorial flags, according to the bill’s accompanying documents. Flags not on the list, like the Pride flag, would be prevented from being displayed.

The next legislative session begins January 9, 2024.

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Donald Padgett

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