When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education bill, also known as the Don’t Say Gay bill, into law last year, researchers and the public were largely focused on the legislation’s effect on youth and teachers. Clark psychology Professor Abbie Goldberg wanted to learn how the new law was impacting LGBTQ+ parents.
The law prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity before the fourth grade. Goldberg interviewed 113 Florida LGBTQ+ parents about the bill’s impact on their families. Of the parents surveyed, 56% are considering moving out of Florida and 21% are less out in their communities. Goldberg says parents are questioning if their children will receive an equal education.
“The bill affects children’s ability to talk openly about their families and potentially complete assignments about their families, like writing about their family vacation with two moms or two dads,” she says. “Some of my participants pointed out that the naming of the bill, Parental Rights in Education, refers to certain parents' rights. They asked, ‘What about our rights?’”