‘Don’t say gay’ for nonprofits: Ryan Chamberlin files bill that would restrict LGBTQ nonprofits receiving state funding

'They would not be able to discuss sexual orientation or gender identity at all. This is horrifying.'

State Rep. Ryan Chamberlin has filed legislation that could impact how Florida nonprofits handle LGBTQ+ individuals.

The Belleview Republican filed a bill (HB 599) that would restrict taking into consideration an individuals’ gender identity or sexual orientation if they want to compete for state contracts or grants.

The legislation would prohibit the termination of employees for refusing to use preferred pronouns that don’t align with an individual’s gender assigned at birth. It would also make clear the state, as an official policy, would only recognize gender as assigned at birth that aligns with individuals’ original internal and external sex organs.

“It is the policy of the state that a person’s sex is an immutable biological trait and that it is false to ascribe to a person a pronoun that does not correspond to such person’s sex,” the bill reads.

But what raised the loudest alarms among critics was a provision that appears to restrict any organization specifically serving LGBTQ individuals from receiving any state dollars.

“It is an unlawful employment practice for a nonprofit organization or an employer who receives funding from the state to require, as a condition of employment, any training, instruction, or other activity on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression,” the bill reads.

That prompted immediate criticism from LGBTQ advocates. Allejandra Caraballo, a Harvard law professor following LGBTQ legislation nationwide, called the bill a “don’t say gay” law for nonprofits.

“It would effectively ban all LGBTQ nonprofits in the state,” Caraballo posted on Threads. “They would not be able to discuss sexual orientation or gender identity at all. This is horrifying.”

Rep. Anna Eskamani posted on X that the bill “would basically ban @EqualityFL from existing” and called it “bigoted, unnecessary and highly unconstitutional.”

The legislation is the second bill filed by Chamberlin, who was elected to the House in a Special Election in May.

The House District 24 seat notably opened after former state Rep. Joe Harding, an Ocala Republican, resigned facing federal charges of wire fraud and money laundering. Harding authored a parental rights in education bill passed in 2022, the bill originally derided as the “don’t say gay bill” for restricting instruction on gender orientation and sexual identity in Florida classrooms.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • What a joke

    November 21, 2023 at 1:29 pm

    Such a law would be immediately be invalidated as a violation of the First Amendment – and they know it. More red meat for the authoritarian-inclined.

    • Julia

      November 21, 2023 at 2:02 pm

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    • Chuck Anziulewicz

      November 21, 2023 at 3:27 pm

      He’s just shamelessly pandering for votes in Rhonda Santis Land.

  • Florida GOP. Adopts Nazi ideology

    November 21, 2023 at 1:32 pm

    The Florida GOP has adopted NAZI ideology – they embrace bigotry, hate, racism and want to strip basic freedoms from marginalize communities and individuals. It’s time to vote them out

  • Kathy

    November 21, 2023 at 3:32 pm

    Has florid swamp truly become a state full of vengeful hateful people because evidently the good ones are standing up. Just remember that Florida militia Ron has appointed will come after you

  • Michael K

    November 21, 2023 at 3:40 pm

    Why do Florida Republicans have so much hate for LGBTQ Floridians – fellow citizens – who live, work, and pay taxes here?

    I’m sick and tired of endless, needless, and senseless attacks on my neighbors, co-workers, fellow congregants, friends, and family. I’m disgusted and fed up with the narrow-minded bigots who fan the flames of hate and ignorance just because they think tearing people down builds them up.

  • PeterH

    November 21, 2023 at 5:37 pm

    As reported in Rolling Stone today…..The founder and leader of MOM’S FOR LIBERTY, Phillip Fisher Jr., pleaded guilty to raping a 14 year old boy! Republican mantra “never vet anyone!”

    • John Marshall

      November 23, 2023 at 8:42 pm

      This what happens when rethuglicsns fear loosing what power they have.ahe authors of our Constitution were very direct about keeping religion out of our political system.
      At 73 I Remer when our two main political parties were reversed now rethgulikkkans are the party of hate,fear mongering,racism,homophobesand white supremacist.
      My grandchildren will have to fight for the rights we thought we had won in the 60’s,70’s,80’s and 90’s.
      We must vote this racist cancer out of our political system or we will loose our Democracy.

    • My Take

      November 27, 2023 at 1:24 am

      pleaded guilty to raping a 14 year old boy! Republican mantra “never vet anyone!”
      The Republican conservative motto.
      The same as NAMBLA’s?
      *If it feels good to me, it is good. No matter whom it hurts, how badly, nor how innocent or defenseless they are.*

  • Sonja Fitch

    November 24, 2023 at 10:24 am

    Omg. Just saw a homeless man in front of the Walgreens! Ask him why? He said the rape and abuse from my daddy drove me to run! No shoes and mumbling and wet!! He said I am better off here than with my daddy! He said I am scared! Open your eyes and your heart! WE ARE ALL Different. Gay, straight, tall, short, skinny ,fat black and white They are all Precious! .

  • rick whitaker

    November 24, 2023 at 10:44 am

    christians generally don’t allow anything they perceive to be competition. that’s why christianity can’t be mixed with democracy

  • My Take

    November 27, 2023 at 1:07 am

    The singular pronoun for all Repùblican pols and officials should be “it.”

Comments are closed.


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