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The Florida Senate

Minority Office — Press Release


March 28, 2022

CONTACT: Miles Davis, 305-493-6002

STATEMENT: Florida Sen. Shevrin Jones, First Openly-LGBTQ Senator in State History, on Gov. DeSantis Signing of Dangerous “Don’t Say Gay” Bill

Miami Gardens —

Yesterday, State Senator Shevrin Jones (SD-35), Vice Chair of the Senate Education Committee and Florida’s first openly-gay State Senator, issued the below statement regarding Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signing of the dangerous “Don’t Say Gay” bill (CS/CS/CS HB 1557) into law:

“Discriminatory pieces of legislation like this fail to solve the critical issues impacting Floridians’ everyday lives — from the skyrocketing cost of housing and everyday necessities like groceries and gas, to the healthcare access gap and teacher shortage.

Instead, the Governor and his Republican allies in the legislature have shamefully attacked and endangered LGBTQ+ students who are just trying to get a quality education. The state has an obligation and responsibility to protect and ensure every Floridian, regardless of identity, can live and thrive with dignity and respect.

LGBTQ+ Floridians are more than twice as likely to experience depression or anxiety compared to non-LGBT Floridians, and mental health advocates have noted that this new law that stigmatizes and will further isolate our most vulnerable could result in even sharper declines in mental health and higher rates of youth suicide. We should embrace students' differences and uplift them through these most crucial stages of development. Our shared future depends on it.”