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The Florida Senate

Minority Office — Press Release


March 8, 2022

CONTACT: Miles Davis, 305-493-6002

STATEMENT: Florida Senator Shevrin Jones, First Openly-LGBTQ Senator in State History, on Final Passage of the Harmful “Don’t Say Gay” Bill

Tallahassee —

Today, State Senator Shevrin Jones (SD-35), Florida’s first openly-gay State Senator, issued the following statement regarding the final passage of the harmful “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which is headed to the Govnernor’s desk to be signed into law:

This bill is another stain on Florida’s history, and history will undoubtedly hold us accountable. I shared on the floor my own deeply personal story and challenges coming out and the rejections faced in my church, from friends, from members of my family. That is the last thing any of us should wish upon any individual.

And yet, in the last few days, many in Tallahassee and across the state have said the quiet part out loud: insulting educators with claims that public schools are ‘socially engineering’ children, labeling members of the LGBTQ community and allies as ‘groomers.’ This hostile assault on Floridians isn’t about parental rights. It is about control.

As elected officials, we have a responsibility to improve people’s daily lives — to move the ball forward when it comes to creating safer schools and safer communities. Just as I’ve dedicated my journey to lifting up voices of the voiceless, I will keep fighting and keep up the pressure on those colleagues who are on the wrong side of these critical issues of human rights.

It is deeply distressing that many of them have been loved through some of the toughest times of their lives but fail to show others that same grace. This isn’t about politics, but about the truth of the human condition.