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Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Sponsor Doubles Down on Outing LGBTQ Children to Parents With New Amendment

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The sponsor of Florida’s highly controversial and dangerous “Don’t Say Gay” bill is doubling down on the “outing” provision of his legislation, which is expected to get a vote by the full House Tuesday. GOP State Rep Joe Harding has added a proposed amendment to his own bill, Florida Politics reports.

Harding is a freshman lawmaker who has no background in education, child development, or LGBTQ issues. Currently, HB 1557 says teachers, administrators, and other staff must contact parents about a student’s “mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being, or a change in related services or monitoring.” Meaning schools must tell parents if their child comes out as LGBTQ at school.

If they don’t, the bill says, parents can sue. There is currently one provision to protect at-risk children, schools can opt to not inform parents, “if a reasonably prudent person would believe that disclosure would result in abuse, abandonment, or neglect.” Of those who seek help, 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBTQ, often as a direct result of coming out or being outed to their parents.

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