Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison claims Florida’s new law preventing teacher discussions of gender ideology and sexuality with young children is “extreme” and “discriminatory” toward “LGBTQ+ students.”
A Thursday press release from the attorney general’s office reported that Ellison and 16 other attorneys general around the United States have filed a joint amicus brief challenging Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, which has been derogatorily labeled the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
Florida’s new law, which went into effect on July 1, prohibits “classroom instruction” on sexuality and gender ideology from kindergarten through third grade. From fourth grade on up, classroom instruction on sexuality and gender ideology must follow new state standards that aim to keep the discussions “age appropriate.”
Ellison released a statement condemning the law and defending LGBT instruction for K-3 students.
“Essential to being able to live with dignity, safety, and respect is being able to say loud and clear who you are as a human being, to speak your truth,” he said. “But under this law, Florida kids can’t speak their truth. Their parents can’t speak their truth. Teachers can’t speak their truth.”
“As a result, outcomes for students are worse, teachers can’t teach the reality of our society, LGBTQ kids and their families live in a climate of intimidation and fear, and everyone is harmed,” he continued. “As Attorney General, and as a human being, I can’t sit by and watch that happen without trying to put a stop to it.”
Despite Ellison’s eagerness to intervene in how another state runs its own affairs, he recently refused to appeal a Ramsey County court decision that overturned several Minnesota state abortion restrictions as “unconstitutional.”
The attorney general claimed his intervention would not be “a proper or prudent use of limited state resources.” In response, Traverse County Attorney Matthew Franzese filed an intervening motion to appeal the ruling and criticized Ellison for failing in his duty to defend state law.