Gov. Pritzker Joins Chorus Against Florida’s Anti-LGBTQ Law

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Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker stood up for the LGBTQ community after Ron DeSantis signed the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation into Florida law. He joins the voices of opposition across the United States grieving the law’s ban on LGBTQ discussion in K-3 classrooms.

Pritzker used his personal Twitter account to express his point of view:

We cannot stand idly by as Republican governors wage incessant attacks on the LGBTQ+ community.

The former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency under the Donald Trump administration and a Republican from California, Mike Pompeo, took to Twitter to weigh in on the law: “Parents should get to decide what their children are taught, not the government or teachers unions.” But, as his tweet indicates, he completely disagrees with Pritzker and others voicing their angst against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state’s legislators’ actions.

Questions about DeSantis’ decisions abound on Twitter; @joeybazzell posted: “If [he] is so worried about what kids are being taught, why is he so ok with exploiting them while signing hateful legislation? #DeSantisDestroysFlorida.”

Possible Long-Term Consequences

Sexual orientation demographics are difficult to track since there is no official way to gather the data. In an attempt to overcome the lack of comprehensive information, the UCLA Williams Institute evaluated fives years of Gallup Polls and two years of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, according to World Population Review. Based on their analysis, Florida’s LGBTQ population is 3,995 per 1,000 residents.

“Republicans are trying to take the country back to the 1950s,” replied Joanne when a group of Gay seniors was asked how they felt about Florida’s law. Everyone in the meeting concurred. While they are worried for the LGBTQ community, there is concern about how “Don’t Say Gay” will affect young people, whether they are children living in Gay households or are questioning their sexuality.

The ban on talking about sexuality in grades Kindergarten through 3rd grade may result in unexpected negative consequences. For some children fitting in can be daunting without having the added pressures this law brings to the classroom. For example, how will teachers discuss family structure — man, woman, children — without excluding their students whose parents are part of the LGBTQ community? This scenario could happen since same-sex marriage was legally recognized in Florida on Jan. 6, 2015.

Pritzker
Courtesy of SecretName101 (Wikimedia CC0)

Psychologists “believe that as a strength of character, self-acceptance provides young people with a way of looking at the world and, in particular, how they consider their own value and self-worth and leads to their emotional regulation, resilience,” according to a research paper citing “The Strength of Self-Acceptance: Theory Research and Practice.”

Some speculate that Gov. Pritzker entered into the “Don’t Say Gay” debate for political reasons. Not only is he up for re-election as governor, but his name has popped up as a potential Democratic presidential candidate, writes Shia Kapos for Politico. However, he claims he is not interested in the presidency.

As governor, Pritzker actively demonstrates support for the LGBTQ community. Last year, he signed several bills aimed at improving Gay lives. Last month, the Coalition of Rainbow Alliances presented Pritzker with the Ruth Ellis Award to acknowledge his support.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

Politico: Illinois Playbook: Pritzker lashes ‘Don’t Say Gay;’ by Shia Kapos
Human Rights Campaign: Florida Senate Passes “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” Bill, Legislation Heads to DeSantis’ Desk for Signature or Veto; by Elizabeth Bibi
NPR: Not just Florida. More than a dozen states propose so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bills; by Dustin Jones and Jonathan Franklin
ABC News: ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis; by Anthony Izaguirre
ResearchGate: Self-Acceptance in the Education and Counseling of Young People; by Michael E. Bernard, Ph.D., Ann Vernon, Ph.D., Mark Terjesen, Ph.D., and Robyn Jurasaki, PsyD.
Springer Publishing: The Strength of Self-Acceptance; Theory, Practice, and Research; M.E. Bernard, 2013 (Pages 155-192)
World Population in Review: What Percentage of the Population is Gay 2022

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Ramesh Lalwani’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image by SecretName101 Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License

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