Florida’s LGBTQ+ Advocates Find Relief as Desantis’ Hostility Wanes Days Before Pride Month

Florida's LGBTQ+ Advocates Find Relief as Desantis' Hostility Wanes

Leaders of Florida’s LGBTQ+ groups say that Governor Ron DeSantis’s three-year campaign against them may be coming to an end. Pride month celebrations will begin in just a few days.

Over the past year, there has been more and more proof that the political atmosphere in Florida has changed drastically, making it harder for LGBTQ+ people to live there. In June 2023, the first sign came when a federal district court judge in Orlando issued an injunction that stopped the state from following a law backed by DeSantis that said kids couldn’t go to public drag queen shows.

More good news came in the first three months of this year. In March, the state’s most important LGBTQ+ rights group revealed a settlement with the state over important parts of the so-called “don’t say gay” law that DeSantis pushed through the state legislature when Republicans were in charge.

N. Smith, executive director of Equality Florida, says that as part of the settlement, the state agreed to let students and teachers talk freely about LGBTQ+ people, families, and problems in the classroom again. As part of the settlement, it was agreed that the rule does not stop books or musicals and plays with LGBTQ+ characters from being read or put on in public schools in the state.

DeSantis even signed the HIV Infection Prevention Drugs Act last month. Supporters in the LGBTQ+ community have called it Florida’s first pro-LGBTQ+ bill in recent memory because it makes it easier for people to get important drugs that stop HIV from spreading. The results of this year’s state congressional session in Tallahassee were also good news.

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