Last month U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor dismissed our lawsuit with Equality Florida, LGBTQ+ youth and families in the state, lawyers from Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The lawsuit challenged Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” bill that was signed into law this past spring.
Winsor’s order dismissed the case, stating that the plaintiffs had not shown they had legal standing to challenge the harms inflicted on students, families, and teachers. The judge’s ruling focused on whether parents, students, or organizations were the right plaintiffs to bring these issues forward.
Since then, we’ve been working with our partners to determine next steps.
Good news. The lawsuit is moving forward with an amended complaint, which was filed last week. However, Family Equality will no longer be one of the plaintiffs. We’re glad there is still a path forward for this critical lawsuit and will be rooting from the sidelines.
What can YOU do?
- VOTE! One way to make a change in Florida and other states with similar anti-LGBTQ+ stigma and attacks is to vote on or before election day – Tuesday, November 8.
- Share your story. Your friends, neighbors, schools, and faith communities may not be aware of how deeply these issues impact us or how important these protections are. Sharing your story, if you feel safe doing so, can make a difference.
- File a complaint. For families in Florida, remember Judge Winsor’s narrow interpretation of the law the next time your school or district attempts to place restrictions on your family. According to the State in its filings, and Judge Winsor’s initial order, the law applies to explicit classroom instruction only and if a school district uses it as an excuse to exclude you or your child, you can and should file a complaint with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights.
“As the attacks on our freedoms show no signs of slowing down, we will continue the fight,” said Stacey Stevenson, CEO of Family Equality.