A Florida law that prohibits classroom “instruction” on sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-3 took effect on Friday, July 1.

House Bill 1557, known as the “Don't Say Gay” law, also restricts discussion on such topics in grades 4-12.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, signed the legislation into law in March surrounded by young students.

In signing the bill, DeSantis, who is believed to have presidential ambitions, pushed back against critics of the measure, including pressure to veto the bill from Disney.

“I don't care what corporate media outlets say,” DeSantis told the small crowd gathered at a charter school campus. “I don't care what Hollywood says. I don't care what big corporations say. Here I stand. I'm not backing down.”

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBTQ rights advocate, called the “Don't Say Gay” law an attempt to shame and isolate LGBTQ students.

“School policy should focus on education, not discrimination,” said Joni Madison, interim president of the Human Rights Campaign. “Governor DeSantis’s ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ law is a shameful attack on students already struggling with the weight of discrimination. It is a slapdash, mean-spirited, impossible-to-comply-with law designed to make LGBTQ+ students feel shame and isolation at school, a place where every child deserves a chance to learn and succeed. The Human Rights Campaign strongly condemns these discriminatory policies taking effect on Friday and will continue fighting for Floridians who deserve to exist freely, proudly, and to have their stories shared.”

Other GOP-led states have also introduced similar legislation.

“Shameful efforts to replicate DeSantis’ ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ law in other states are being pursued by extremist legislators trying to rile up a small but radical base, who foolishly believe peddling hate against children will win them support at the ballot box come November. We have a message for them: The country is tired of watching you use the lives of our children for personal political power. And come November, we’ll make sure you hear that message from all of us, loud and clear,” Madison said.

The Biden administration has criticized the law and is encouraging students or parents who believe they are experiencing discrimination as a result of the law to file a complaint with the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.

DeSantis also signed into law the “Stop WOKE Act,” which is viewed by critics as an attempt to censor dialogue in the workplace about systemic racism, gender, and race discrimination. This law also took effect on Friday.