President Joe Biden has slammed the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill now before the Florida legislature that would limit classroom discussion on gender and sexuality. It would also allow for parents to sue schools and teachers who decide to teach these topics.

Biden reassured the gay community that he is an ally. “I want every member of the LGBTQIA+ community, especially the kids who will be impacted by this hateful bill to know that you are loved and accepted just as you are,” the president tweeted.

The bill has received backlash for treating students as political pawns. Kevin Munoz, White House assistant press secretary, said the bill would hurt kids who need the most protection in school and are most vulnerable. According to the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, students who identify with the LGBT community are bullied at a higher rate than straight peers. The study also showed more fear among LGBT students going to school because of safety concerns as well.

In 2021, 17 anti-LGBT bills were enacted into law, surpassing 2015 as the worst year in recent history when 15 bills were enacted. Legislators in Arizona, Alabama and Kentucky have already introduced new anti-LGBT bills in 2022.

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