Ariana Grande and George Takei among celebrities to condemn Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

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Ariana Grande, George Takei and Whoopi Goldberg are among the stars who have spoken out against the the controversial Parents Rights in Education bill, which was passed in the Florida Senate on Tuesday 8 March.

Florida’s Republican-controlled state legislature passed the widely criticised measure – which has been nicknamed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill – after six hours of debate.

Opponents have argued the move will chill discussion of LGBTQ+ people and issues and stigmatise LGBTQ+ children and families by banning instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools from kindergarten to third grade.

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law.

Its passage follows student walkouts across the state and widespread demands to withdraw the legislation, as well as pressure on the bill’s sponsors and major companies including the Walt Disney Company that have donated to the legislators who endorsed it.

“Really disgusting,” Grande wrote in her Instagram Stories beneath a post by Equality Florida sharing the news.

Star Trek actor George Takei spoke out about the bill on Twitter, writing: “A Florida lawmaker got up to say that ‘gay’ isn’t permanent. I’m not sure what she meant by that, since I’ve been gay for more than 84 years, but many of nature’s most beautiful creations, from rainbows to bursts of flower blossoms, don’t last forever. Just long enough to wow.”

George Takei (Getty Images)
George Takei (Getty Images)

Lord of the Rings actor Sean Aston tweeted: “The bill is an obvious & clumsy partisan political effort. Away from the spotlight, this will damage kids & families. This law won’t survive in the courts.”

The View panellist Whoopi Goldberg said the bill is “shaming” LGBTQ+ children and “punishing” teachers who want to help them.