The Miami-Dade School Board in Florida rejected a proposed LGBTQ month for students after a contentious three-hour meeting Wednesday night.
The measure would have recognized October as an official period of LGBTQ recognition in the district’s schools and taught older students about two Supreme Court cases related to gay rights.
Backers of the proposal argued that the initiative would ease stigmas plaguing the community — with some public speakers likening opposition to Nazi marginalization of specific groups.
Opponents asserted that the plan was tantamount to “indoctrination” and would introduce sexualized subject matter to Miami-Dade schools without adequate parental awareness.
The board eventually voted down the proposal by a margin of 8 to 1, with the plan’s sponsor, board member Lucia Baez Geller, the sole backer.
A group of Proud Boys gathered outside the meeting and at one point argued about the proposal with a person holding a trans flag, according to the Miami Herald.
Supporters of the plan told the board that its passage would promote a more tolerant atmosphere for LGBTQ students struggling with their identity.
“LGBTQ people suffered a higher rate of suicidal ideation and other risky behaviors because of the hateful attacks and efforts that you have been hearing in this room after many speakers,” said speaker Michael Rajner.
Another commenter argued that an LGBTQ month was deserving of enshrinement alongside periods of recognition for other marginalized groups.
“Fear of groups of people often times leads to hate, discrimination and prejudice,” she said. “It is absolutely imperative that we learn about each other. All aspects of history. That is why we have different history months. Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Women’s History Month.”
Another backer said that he felt “completely alone” as a gay youth, a sense of isolation that the LGBTQ month would combat.
Opponents contended that schools are not appropriate settings for the material and that parents should be responsible for introducing the topic rather than teachers and administrators.
“School is not here to indoctrinate them with LGBTQIA agenda ideology,” said Patricia Moore. “This is not to be. And we should not expose our kids in school to this curriculum. Our educational system was not designed to teach children about sexuality.”
Another speaker echoed that theme.
“Let us, the parents, to be parents,” she said. “And teach our children according to our morals, values and religious beliefs.”
The speaker argued that kids are being “submerged and drowned in a confusion of identity.”
Some speakers noted the passage of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “Parental Rights in Education Bill” that banned discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity for kids in kindergarten through the third grade.
DeSantis argued that the material was inappropriate for younger children.
Opponents, who dubbed it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, countered that it fostered hostility towards the community.