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Faith Leaders Condemn Gov. DeSantis’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill


Monday, March 28, 2022


Austin Schuler, aschuler@faithinpubliclife.org | 540-280-3393

Od’Juan Whitfield, owhitfield@faithinpubliclife.org | 904-415-3438

Faith Leaders Condemn Gov. DeSantis’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill

Tallahassee, FL– Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, a law that prohibits teachers from leading classroom lessons on gender identity or sexual orientation for students in kindergarten through third grade. 

People of faith believe all people are created in the image of God and deserve protection from bigotry; especially LGBTQ youth. Below are statements from faith leaders condemning the bill and sharing why it is harmful to LGBTQ youth and their families. 

Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life

“LGBTQ people are made in the image of God and deserve to live as their full, authentic selves in and out of the classroom without fear of discrimination. The “Don’t Say Gay” bill is a disgraceful attempt by a handful of politicians to score political points by targeting the children, teachers and families they claim to represent. This is a harmful attack on the dignity of LGBTQ people. People of faith must join in solidarity with Florida children and families to ensure that schools are places where they can receive the care and support they need to thrive.” 

Rev. Susan H. Rogers, Pastor, The Well at Springfield (Jacksonville, FL)

“As a mother and as a minister, I am deeply concerned about the consequences of this dangerous bill. Teachers and school communities have played an invaluable role in offering safe space for LGBTQ youth to receive the support, confidentiality and protection that fuels their sense of belonging. Denying them this space will only add to the vulnerability and marginalization they already experience, and will no doubt result in the loss of life – and for what gain?”

Laura Guren Rodriguez, National Council of Jewish Women’s Florida State Policy Advocate

“Advocates of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) across Florida condemn Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.  Governor Ron DeSantis signed this atrocious legislation into law today, March 28, 2022. The law effectively bans the existence of the LGBTQ+ community throughout the state. It is just one piece of an effort by the state’s conservative leadership to make Florida repressive, regressive and authoritarian. NCJW holds that civil liberties and human rights apply to all people regardless of gender, race, religion or ethnicity. Florida lawmakers have been sent to our state capital by Floridians to work for Floridians and they are content to only work for those they deem fit.”

Bishop Lorenzo Hall, Pastor, Greater El-Beth-El Divine Holiness Church (Jacksonville, FL)

“Some things are just meant to be left alone. We can’t tell anybody who to love or who not to love, this is a sad bill.”

Faith in Public Life is a national movement of clergy and faith leaders united in the prophetic pursuit of justice, equality and the common good. Together, with a network of over 50,000 leaders, they are leading the fight to advance just policies at the state and federal level that affirm our values and the human dignity of all.

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