(MINEOLA, N.Y.) - Nassau County Legislator Arnold W. Drucker (D - Plainview) condemned Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for signing the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill into law on Monday, March 28 - legislation which is designed to severely chill age-appropriate instruction and discussions regarding sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida schools.
“While I am hardly surprised that Governor DeSantis signed this horrific bill into law, anticipating this outcome has done nothing to numb my outrage,” Legislator Drucker said. “Proponents who disingenuously claim that these laws are somehow meant to prevent ‘indoctrination’ and ‘exploitation’ are in fact projecting their own bigotry - for they are the ones who are vilifying a vulnerable community to selfishly reap political rewards for themselves. This is state-sanctioned cruelty directed toward America’s marginalized youth, and it must stop now.”
Thus far, the legislation has been the catalyst for similar bills in at least 15 American statehouses.
According to The Trevor Project, the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ young people, at least one LGBTQ+ person between the ages of 13 and 24 attempts suicide every 45 seconds in the United States. However, because many report attempting suicide multiple times each year, The Trevor Project cautions that this already alarmingly high rate is likely an undercount.
In response to these sobering statistics and the proliferation of copycat “Don’t Say Gay” bills, Legislator Drucker filed Nassau County legislation on Monday, March 14 that would form an LGBTQ+ Advisory Board for the purpose of convening stakeholders who will investigate specific challenges faced by Nassau’s LGBTQ+ community so that solutions can be devised and implemented.
The measure has not yet been scheduled for a public hearing by the Legislature’s Republican majority.
“Radical forces are working feverishly to curtail the fundamental rights of Americans as part of their regressive and hateful agenda for our nation, and I for one will not stand by idly and watch decades worth of progress be wiped away,” Legislator Drucker said. “Convening this committee is the first of many steps we must take to meet this challenge and ensure that the dignity of every Nassau County resident - without exception - is affirmed and honored.”