The White House on Friday released a
statement criticizing Florida's so-called “Don't Say Gay” law as
it took effect.
The law prohibits classroom
“instruction” on sexual orientation and gender identity in grades
K-3 and restricts discussion on such topics in grades 4-12.
“Don't Say Gay” law takes effect.)
As he was preparing to leave for Camp
David to spend the July 4 holiday weekend, President Joe Biden
tweeted about the law.
“Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' law takes
effect today – the latest attempt by Republicans in state houses to
target LGBTQI+ students, teachers, and families,” the president
said. “Legislators shouldn't be in the business of censoring
educators, and @usedgov will do all in its power to protect
White House Press Secretary Karine
Jean-Pierre called the law “discriminatory” in a statement.
“Today, some of Florida’s most
vulnerable students and families are more fearful and less free,”
she wrote. “As the state’s shameful ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law
takes effect, state officials who claim to champion liberty are
limiting the freedom of their fellow Americans simply to be
“Already, there have been reports
that ‘Safe Space’ stickers are being taken down from classrooms.
Teachers are being instructed not to wear rainbow clothing. LGBTQI+
teachers are being told to take down family photos of their husbands
and wives – cherished family photos like the ones on my own desk.”
“This is not an issue of ‘parents’
rights.’ This is discrimination, plain and simple. It’s part of a
disturbing and dangerous nationwide trend of right-wing politicians
cynically targeting LGBTQI+ students, educators, and individuals to
score political points.”
“It encourages bullying and threatens
students’ mental health, physical safety, and well-being. It
censors dedicated teachers and educators who want to do the right
thing and support their students. And it must stop,” she said.
The Biden administration 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.