After public records requests by the Florida Freedom to Read Project uncovered a blanket ban on books featuring LGBTQ+ characters and themes in Charlotte County Schools, the Florida Democratic Party has issued the following statement:
“This is exactly what we said would happen when they passed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ laws,” said FDP Chair Nikki Fried. “Moms for Liberty and other extremist groups empowered by the governor will never be satisfied until all references to the LGBTQ+ community are erased from public life. To quote the Charlotte County Superintendent of Schools, these extremists believe that ‘these characters and themes can not exist.’
“Taking away the experience of feeling seen in a book isn’t going to stop a child from growing up to be queer or trans; it’s just going to make them feel alone. These homophobic and transphobic policies are especially irresponsible at a time when nearly half of LGBTQ+ teenagers report considering suicide.
“Books with LGBTQ+ characters and themes should be celebrated, not shunned — just like LGBTQ+ Floridians should be every day.”