Maura Healey Wants Florida’s Parental Rights In Education Law Overturned

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Should schools teach kindergarteners about sexuality and gender ideology?

Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey thinks so, and opposes states banning the practice.

Healey, who is a lesbian, is one of 16 attorneys general in the United States (from 15 states plus the District of Columbia) who filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of a lawsuit challenging the legality of the Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law last week. It’s a bill that critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

“In short, Florida’s extreme approach implies the absence of a legitimate pedagogical purpose, rendering its restrictions on speech and targeting of a minority highly suspect,” the brief states. “And [the 15] states’ experiences show that reasonable policies are available that include LGBTQ people, foster free speech, and accommodate parents. Florida’s turn, instead, to restricting speech and targeting a minority supplies additional evidence of the act’s unconstitutionality.”

Here is the key component of the Parental Rights in Education bill verbatim:


Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.


The lawsuit, known as Equality Florida v. Florida State Board of Education, was filed on “behalf of students, parents, teachers, and LGBTQ+ rights groups in opposition to Florida’s law, and asks the court to deny Florida’s motion to dismiss,” according to a press release from Healey’s office.

Supporters of Florida’s law say that it’s a good way to ensure that students are receiving an age-appropriate education in Florida’s schools without indoctrinating them on matters of human sexuality best left to their parents. Opponents argue that introducing various sexual orientations and gender identities to children when they’re young makes students with minority sexual and gender inclinations more visible and safer.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida on March 31.

Lawyers for Kaplan Hecker & Fink, the law firm representing the plaintiffs challenging the Florida law in the lawsuit, argue that the law is unconstitutional.

Here is what the law firm said in a press release at the time the suit was filed:


HB 1557 would seek to erase for an entire generation of Florida public school students the fact that LGBTQ people exist and have equal dignity. HB 1557 harms LGBTQ people — and violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution — by discriminatorily censoring classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity in Florida public schools, not only for grades K-3 but for any grade as long as someone concludes that the discussion is somehow not “age-appropriate.” The law deliberately employs broad and vague terms, inviting arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement by parents, who are designated as roving censors and empowered to sue local school boards for damages based on any violation.


Healey, in the press release from her office, ripped the Florida law that doesn’t let schools teach kindergarteners about gender ideology as “hate-fueled.”

“Florida’s hate-fueled law is the censorship of LGTBQ+ issues at a time when school communities should be creating an educational environment that is inclusive of everyone,” Healey said in a press release. “With my colleagues across the country, we are asking the court to put an end to this radical policy and protect LGBTQ+ young people and their families from further harm.”

Other state’s attorneys general that signed onto the friend-of-the-court brief are from:  California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and Oregon.  The District of Columbia attorney general also signed onto the friend-of-the-court brief.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education bill into law on March 28, 2022. It went into effect on July 1 — before the start of the 2022-2023 school year. 

Christina Pushaw, who serves as the press secretary for Governor DeSantis, told NewBostonPost that Governor DeSantis does not care what liberal, out-of-state politicians think of him — and that the plaintiffs are wrong. 

“It’s not surprising that liberal AGs would throw their support behind partisan opponents of this Florida law, but it doesn’t make a difference in terms of our position or the facts of the matter,” Pushaw told NewBostonPost by email.

“Governor DeSantis is not worried about criticism from any out-of-state politician,” she added. “He works for the people of Florida. Defending parental rights and protecting children are top priorities for Floridians, and the governor is confident that the Parental Rights in Education law is both legally sound and right for our state.”

Healey’s office could not be reached for comment on Monday or Tuesday this week. 

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