Florida Parental Rights Law Upheld in Court

On Monday, the state of Florida finally settled a lawsuit that had lasted for several years regarding the fate of a parental rights law that had come to be derogatorily known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

According to The Hill, the settlement agreement determined that the law, the 2022 Parental Rights in Education Act, will be kept in place but will tone down certain portions that were determined to be too close to violations of the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

In a statement following the settlement, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) celebrated the outcome as a victory.

“We fought hard to ensure this law couldn’t be maligned in court, as it was in the public arena by the media and large corporate actors,” said state general counsel Ryan Newman in a statement. “We are victorious, and Florida’s classrooms will remain a safe place under the Parental Rights in Education Act.”

The law was passed at the height of the school board protest movement, where parents around the country demanded greater authority in determining public school curriculum and a crackdown on inappropriate material, particularly regarding racially divisive topics such as Critical Race Theory (CRT) and transgenderism. Far-left LGBTQ groups claimed that the law amounted to censorship, and sued over alleged free speech violations.

Last month, a federal court ruled that the last two remaining plaintiffs who had sued over the law ultimately lacked the standing to keep their lawsuit going, thus leading to the settlement on Monday.

Following the settlement, the Florida Department of Education agreed to circulate a memo to all public school districts in the state, formally clarifying the new and final changes to the law. Specifically, the law no longer bans all discussions of homosexuality, transgenderism, and other abnormal sexualities in the classroom, but still requires complete neutrality when such discussions arise.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND - APRIL 21: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis walks onstage to give remarks at the Heritage Foundation's 50th Anniversary Leadership Summit at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center on April 21, 2023 in National Harbor, Maryland. During his remarks DeSantis spoke on policy and social issues his administration has taken on in the state of Florida including education in schools, funding law enforcement, and gun legislation. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)