SEARAC Condemns Florida “Don’t Say Gay” Bill and Texas Executive Actions Targeting LGBTQ+ Families

For Immediate Release:
March 14, 2022

Media contact:
Jenna McDavid
Communications and Development Manager

Washington, DC – SEARAC supports our LGBTQ+ community members and the students in Florida and Texas who could be affected by the “Don’t Say Gay” bills and other hateful measures in these states. Bills such as Florida’s HB 1557/SB 1834 and the Texas Governor’s recent actions are harmful to some of our nation’s most vulnerable students, including Southeast Asian queer and trans students.

Florida’s bill, currently on Governor DeSantis’ desk, would limit the discussion of students’ gender identity in schools. The bill would restrict teachers in the state from teaching or discussing topics related to sex and gender for students in Kindergarten to third grade. Meanwhile, Texas Governor Abbot directed the Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate services where youth can receive gender-affirming care, deeming them “child abuse” under Texas Law. Title IX prohibits the discrimination on the basis of sex, including against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools. These legislative decisions are politically motivated, have no basis in science or health, and cause unnecessary fear and harm for LGBTQ+ children and families.

SEARAC’s Executive Director, Quyen Dinh stated, “Schools should be a safe haven for students, providing an inclusive and welcoming space for all. These bills do the opposite by further stigmatizing students and making them feel unwelcome or targeted by people in power. Hate has no place in our schools. Let us strive to create welcoming, loving communities for LGBTQ+ and Southeast Asian queer and trans students and prioritize youth mental health.”