Ron DeSantis is falling apart in Florida too

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The rising star of Ron DeSantis is fading. We already know that the stomach-churning thought of watching DeSantis get inaugurated as the 47th President of the United States in January is off the worry list. There are now multiple signs that DeSantis’s hate-filled agenda is not catching on in the way that he and many other Republicans have hoped.

Specifically, “Don’t Say Gay” is starting to face some serious headwinds. The nickname for Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, Don’t Say Gay has been on the books in Florida for nearly two years. A handful of other states have also pursued this type of legislation, which generally bars public schools from engaging in classroom instruction or discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity.

Earlier this month, Florida agreed to settle with a group of students, parents, teachers, and LGBTQ advocacy organizations who claimed the law was unclear and evoked compliance anxiety throughout the state’s 67 public school districts. Under the settlement, sexual orientation and gender identity are still omitted from formal classwork. However, both students and teachers are now free to talk about these important topics.

Attorney Roberta Kaplan, who represented the plaintiffs, summed it up perfectly. “Simply put, the State of Florida has now made it clear that L.G.B.T.Q.+ kids, parents and teachers in Florida can, in fact, say that they are gay,” according to a New York Times report.

In another development, Florida reached a settlement with the Walt Disney Co. this week over control of the theme park’s special tax district. Disney brought the lawsuit a year ago after DeSantis took adverse action against the company, in retaliation for Disney’s vocal opposition to his Don’t Say Gay law that began in March 2022.

Finally, although it hasn’t gotten much press, a growing number of states are actively pursuing an opposite path to the hateful Don’t Say Gay agenda. Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee just signed a law that requires public schools in Washington to teach LGBTQ history along with a curriculum that is “as culturally and experientially diverse as possible.” Washington is now the 7th state with such an inclusivity mandate, according to a report from NBC News.

These recent developments represent a significant step in the right direction, toward dignity and inclusion and away from bullying and discrimination. It all underlines the fact DeSantis is yesterday’s news. DeSantis may still be Florida’s governor, but his efforts to portray himself as the nation’s next leader or a rising star have failed. America deserves better than DeSantis and his offensive policies.

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