Shawn Mendes calls out Florida’s homophobic Don't Say Gay bill
8 March 2022, 13:02 | Updated: 8 March 2022, 13:07
Florida's House of Representatives passed the harmful bill in February.
Shawn Mendes has taken to social media to criticise Florida's Don't Say Gay bill and support those speaking out against it.
Last month (Feb 28), Florida's House of Representatives passed the Don't Say Gay bill which will now be considered by the State Senate. If approved, the bill will ban the discussion of all LGBTQ+ topics at primary grade level in Floridian education, and wherever Floridian school boards believe that it's "not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students".
Now, Shawn Mendes, who lives in Miami, Florida, has called out the bill and asked his fans to contact their state senators.
Yesterday (Mar 7), Shawn retweeted a tweet by LGBTQ+ organisation Equality Florida. They state: "Ahead of today's Senate floor debate on the Don't Say Gay bill, students and faith leaders from across Florida are rallying on the Capitol steps with LGBTQ lawmakers. Today is the day for cooler legislative heads to prevail. Today is the day to stop Don't Say Gay."
Shawn added: "Florida, call your senators ! http://flsenate.gov/Senators #LetFreeFloridaSayGay", including a link to a list of contact details for all of Florida's state senators. We love an LGBTQ+ ally!
Discussing the bill in a statement, Equality Florida's executive director Nadine Smith said: "Every child has a right to speak honestly about their lives, a right to have access to a history that is honest and includes them, and a right to library books that reflect and include who they are."
Nadine also said: "What we are seeing is the systematic erasure, or elimination of those resources for young people and a gag order imposed on educators."
The White House has condemned the bill as an "attack" on LGBTQ+ youth and President Joe Biden has called it "hateful". However, many Republicans have spoken out in favour of it. Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis claims that LGBTQ+ education is "entirely inappropriate" at school. He also said: "Parents must have a seat at the table when it comes to what's going on in their schools."
In response to the bill, there have been multiple protests and walkouts. As it stands, it's still unclear if the State Senate will pass it. However, as Shawn says, call your senators in the meantime to help ensure that they don't. We shall keep you informed with any updates.