Florida Republicans pass legislation targeting pronouns, diversity programs

GOP lawmakers in Florida passed legislation banning diversity programs in colleges and prohibiting students and teachers from being required to use pronouns that don’t correspond to a person’s sex.

The two bills were approved Wednesday by Republican supermajorities in the House and Senate and now head to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign them into law.

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DeSantis has led a strict conservative agenda and seeks to drum up more support from his base with legislation like this.

The Republican governor is expected to announce his presidential campaign in the coming weeks and challenge former-President Donald Trump for the GOP nomination.

Florida’s state legislative session is scheduled to end this week. It has been dominated by Republican allies of DeSantis approving his bills on sexual orientation, gender identity, race and education.

On Wednesday, the Senate voted to expand the so-called “Don’t Say Gay,” bill which prevents school employees or students from being required to use preferred pronouns, in addition to prohibiting instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation until the eighth grade.

It also strengthens the ability of individuals to lodge challenges against school books, which DeSantis has pushed for repeatedly, leading to the removal of numerous books conservatives consider inappropriate for children.

“Think about what we’re doing, honestly. Think about how this will affect families that don’t look like yours,” said state Sen. Tracie Davis, a Democrat. “They’re still families. They’re Florida families. But we’re treating them like they’re outsiders and we’re telling them we don’t want them here.”

Republican state Sen. Erin Grall gave the opposite view. “You see society coming at our children in a culture war that has an agenda to make them confused,” Grall said.

“We are depriving children of the ability to figure out who they are when we push an agenda, a sexualized agenda, down onto children,” she added.

With News Wire Services

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