Pride Flags Could Be Banned from Florida’s Government Buildings

( – A bill that would prohibit government employees and teachers from displaying the rainbow flag (also known as the “gay pride” flag) is currently moving through the Florida House of Representatives.

Republican Representative David Borrero proposed the bill in an attempt to protect children from “partisan, radical ideologies.” The bill would ban any flags that are meant to represent any political ideology viewpoint (such as Black Lives Matter or gender identity ideology) from being displayed at any state or local government building, including schools and universities that receive government funding. The bill would go so far as to ban lapel pins with such flags on them.

Borrero said the premise of the bill is that funding from taxpayers should not subsidize “political speech” in government spaces. The bill’s co-sponsor, Republican Representative Randy Fine, said he believes that the only flags flown in publicly funded spaces should be “unifying in nature,” such as the American flag.

Opponents of the bill said that it was motivated by hate. A college student named Matthew Grocholske who identified himself as “nonbinary” called the law “egregious” and added how tired he is of “telling our government that I have a right to exist,” though it is unclear how the government is suggesting he does not have a right to exist by banning certain flags. He went on further, calling the pride flag a symbol that indicates that his “very existence means something.”

Shevrin Jones, a gay Democratic State Senator, called the bill “authoritarian” and “fascist.” Michele Rayner, a lesbian Democratic State Representative, said she intends to keep her Black Voters Matter sign up outside her office even if the bill gets passed, citing her First Amendment rights to free speech and expression.

Though Republicans hold a majority in both the Florida House of Representatives and Senate, the bill’s future is unclear. Though it passed along party lines in its first committee vote, it still needs to pass in another House committee before being voted on by the House and Senate. Governor Ron DeSantis has not commented on whether he supports the bill or not.

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