DeSantis expected to sign 'Don’t Say Gay' bill at Florida taxpayer-funded charter school that has two anti-LGBTQ clubs

DeSantis expected to sign 'Don’t Say Gay' bill at Florida taxpayer-funded charter school that has two anti-LGBTQ clubs
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. William Buchanan)
Gov. Ron DeSantis, commander in chief of the Florida National Guard, addresses the crowd during a change of command ceremony at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center on April 6. During the ceremony U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James Eifert assumed command from U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Michael Calhoun, who retired after 36 years of service

[CORRECTION: This story erroneously stated that Florida's HB 1557 "mandates schools 'out' LGBTQ students to parents." However, this amendment was withdrawn from consideration more than a month before. AlterNet regrets the error.]

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the possibly unconstitutional Don’t Say Gay bill likely on Monday at a taxpayer-funded charter school that has two board-approved anti-LGBTQ clubs. The legislation also greatly restricts “classroom instruction” of any LGBTQ topics, issues, or people.

The highly-controversial legislation has made national headlines for months, with President Joe Biden denouncing it, and U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona warning it could force Florida to lose federal funding.

Florida Politics was first to report Gov. DeSantis is expected to sign the “Don’t Say Gay” bill at Classical Preparatory School. State Rep. Carlos G. Smith, one of the leading voices against the dangerous legislation, announced DeSantis is expected to sign it Monday.

The school’s website shows it has just a handful of board-approved clubs, including two exceptionally anti-LGBTQ ones. Coincidentally, the link to the school’s anti-bullying policy, at the very bottom of its website, is currently broken.

“After-school clubs are offered because they provide additional opportunities for leadership and intellectual growth. Each club is chosen by the administration and approved by the board to advance the mission and vision of the school,” Classical Preparatory School’s website states.

Among them, The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), possibly best-known as one of the groups Chick-fil-A used to sponsor, and Young America’s Foundation/Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), a group headed by former GOP governor Scott Walker, and one of the first groups former Vice President Mike Pence aligned with after leaving the White House. The school’s website shows no Gay-Straight Alliance or GLSEN chapter.

“The FCA requires its leaders to agree with its vision, mission and statement of faith, and applicants must also agree to its non-denominational statement and sexual purity statement,” Outsports reported in 2019.

“We believe God’s design for sexual intimacy is to be expressed only within the context of marriage, that God created man and woman to complement and complete each other,” reads part of FCA’s vision statement. “God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.”

Outsports reported this sexual purity statement is also required for applicants:

God desires His children to lead pure lives of holiness. The Bible is clear in teaching on sexual sin including sex outside of marriage and homosexual acts. Neither heterosexual sex outside of marriage nor any homosexual act constitute an alternative lifestyle acceptable to God.

YAF has been actively advocating for the “Don’t Say Gay” bill’s passage.

Last year YAF also tweeted: “Targeting our children with progressive LGBT ideas is evil.” On Facebook it says, “LGBT propaganda should not be added to movies made for children.”

YAF has published anti-LGBTQ “news” stories, including ones titled: “FACTS, LOGIC, & MATT WALSH: Gay ‘marriage’ by definition can’t be the same as marriage,” and “The Gender Unicorn Strikes Again, This Time at Northern Kentucky University.”

Students across Florida have held walkouts protesting the legislation, which has exceptionally-broad and undefined language that bans “classroom instruction” on LGBTQ issues and people that is not “age-appropriate,” and allows parents to sue if they feel the school has crossed that undefined line.

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