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'Don't say gay' bill receives pushback from gay rights groups as FL lawmakers consider limiting conversations about sexual orientation in classrooms

Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, said the bill "will kill kids."

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As Florida's legislative session continues, there's a push to stop a bill from becoming law gay rights advocates say will harm the state's LGBTQ youth.

"It's really unfortunate that we are turning schools into political battlegrounds," said Brandon Wolf of the Equality Florida.

House Bill 1557 tells school districts to, "not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity..."

Wolf, the spokesperson for Equality Florida, a gay rights advocacy group that opposes the bill, believes lawmakers are trying to censor teachers. 

"We have to ask ourselves what kind of environment are we creating when we are telling people that the existence of LGBTQ people is something to be ashamed of," Wolf said.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Joe Harding, says he hopes the legislation will, "reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children..."

Wolf, who is a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, says limiting discussions in schools about what happened that day will silence the issues the LGBTQ community face.  "We have to have honest conversations about all parts of our beautiful society, LGBTQ people are a part of that," he said. 

The bill is now with the House Judiciary Committee. It's not clear when it will be discussed or voted on before possibly advancing to the full House for a vote.

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