Judge tosses challenge to Florida’s ‘Parental Rights in Education’ bill
'Don't Say Gay' will bring fireworks at graduations across Florida.

The lawsuit claimed the law had violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights by chilling their ability to talk about their LGBTQ families in school settings.

For the second time in about a month, a lawsuit challenging Florida’s so-called “don’t say gay” legislation restricting teaching on gender identity and sexual orientation in schools has been dismissed by a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge Wendy Berger in Orlando on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit brought by LGBTQ students, parents and their families — as well as several civil rights groups — and refused their request for a preliminary injunction to stop the law from being implemented. The judge gave the plaintiffs until Nov. 3 to file an amended lawsuit if they desired.

The lawsuit in Orlando named as defendants several Florida school boards charged with implementing the law, which bans lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade as well as material that is not deemed age-appropriate. The lawsuit claimed the law had violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights by chilling their ability to talk about their LGBTQ families in school settings. The judge disagreed.

“Plaintiffs have not directed this Court to any fact that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the law prohibits students from discussing their families and vacations at school or even on a school assignment, or that it would prohibit a parent from attending a school function in a ‘pride’ t-shirt or generally discussing their family structure in front of other people,” wrote Berger, a nominee of former President Donald Trump.

In response to concerns by the parents of a nonbinary middle school student who were plaintiffs and worried the law would encourage more bullying, the judge expressed sympathy. But Berger added, “it is simply a fact of life that many middle school students will face the criticism and harsh judgment of their peers.”

“Indeed, middle school children bully and belittle their classmates for a whole host of reasons, all of which are unacceptable, and many of which have nothing to do with a classmate’s gender identity,” the judge wrote.

About a month ago, a federal judge in Tallahassee dismissed a similar challenge to the law. In both lawsuits, the judges questioned the legal standing of the plaintiffs, saying they had failed to specifically identify how the law had harmed them.

A report released in August by the Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy groups, and the Center for Countering Digital Hate said that hateful references to gays, lesbians and other LGBTQ people surged online after Florida’s Republican-dominated legislature passed the bill. The law was championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican.

Civil rights groups that had helped the families file the lawsuit called the judge’s decision “wrong” and said their fight against the law wasn’t over.

“The students and families at the heart of this case have experienced more bullying in the months since the law went into effect than ever before in their lives, but the court dismissed their experiences of bullying as ‘a fact of life,‘” said Kell Olson, staff attorney at Lambda Legal, a civil rights group focused on LGBTQ rights. “The court’s decision defies decades of precedent establishing schools’ constitutional obligations to protect student speech, and to protect students from targeted bullying and harassment based on who they are.”


Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • Peggy Wright

    October 22, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    Ron DeSantis is obviously gay. It’s clear and plain as day. The fact that he’s fighting so hard against the LGBT community in Florida is an obvious cover because he’s deep in the closet. Casey DeSantis is his beard.

    C’mon Ron. Get with it. It’s 2022. Nobody cares anymore. Come out of the closet and start treating your fellow homosexuals with respect. 🏳️‍🌈

    • Biggus Diccus

      October 22, 2022 at 12:35 pm

      He’s not going to date you. Find someone else to peg.

      • Until it comes back

        October 24, 2022 at 5:04 am

        He’s got his cancer wife. For now

  • Elliott Offen

    October 22, 2022 at 12:48 pm

    I’m not for the new law but it was a weak case. Can’t blame politics for this one! Gotta wait until someone is harmed..with good proof it’s the law that did it. If this law applied to K-12 then it seems that these claims could be made easier. Also if you don’t like the politics in a particular state then you can always move for sure. Shouldn’t be that way but this is the sad state of affairs today.

  • marylou

    October 22, 2022 at 2:52 pm

    Drag Queens and trans women definitely get Desantis sexually excited, but he needs to stop blaming them for his obsession. Ron sees SEX EVERYWHERE. But what’s scariest is that DESANTIS ALWAYS ASSOCIATES SEX WITH CHILDREN.

    • Tjb

      October 26, 2022 at 3:38 pm

      A very interesting and accurate insight. Pedophiles are often master manipulator and one method of manipulation is to play the part of an individual protecting children from sex. This action gains the trust of parents and it gives the pervert the opportunity to groom children without the parents being suspicious. Many pedophiles are well educated and have held public office. DeSantis has an Ivy League education and held elected office position multiple times.
      I would like to thank Christina Pushaw for educating me on how to do baseless accusations in perverse logic.

  • He said so

    October 24, 2022 at 5:02 am

    Well I’m off to bully this judges kid.

Comments are closed.


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