LGBTQ students offended by bill

Photo courtesy: Tampa Bay Times

Lawmakers in Florida have voted to move forward with a bill that would  ban pride flags from government buildings and university campuses. 

House Bill 901 states that, “a government entity may not erect or display a flag that represents a political viewpoint, but not limited to a politically partisan, racial, sexual orientation gender, or political ideology viewpoint.”

The proposal was introduced by Republican Representatives David Borrero of Sweetwater and Randy Fine of Brevard County. The bill is now in the State Affairs Committee after winning approval in two previous committees. 

According to U.S. Today, Rep. Fine said he would not want the pride flag, or any other racial representative flag flown in the subcommittee room. 

“I don’t want the Black Lives Matter flag flying in this room, I don’t want the Trump for president flag flying in this room,” Fine said. “They’re not appropriate in this room, they’re not appropriate in our school, they’re not appropriate in our government buildings.” 

With the approval of this bill, members of the LGBTQ community who would be directly impacted by this have been opposed to the legislation. They point out that this bill promotes discrimination of the LGBTQ community. 

Angela Dieujuste, a second-year phycology student at Florida A&M and proud member of the LGBTQ community, believes that the bill is negatively affecting the LGBTQ community.

“I believe that we are being targeted,” Dieujuste said. “We have put so much work into creating our community and giving ourselves a voice, that I believe we are taking 10 steps back.” 

As a member of the LGBTQ community Dieujuste does not like how she cannot represent herself with a simple flag. 

“With the banning of a flag that represents me, I believe that I will not be able to be seen as a person anymore,” Dieujuste said. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis supported the proposal, stating that the flags represent a “political viewpoint.”

Mycah Moore, a third-year social work student at FAMU, shared how she felt students can get involved to change the bill. 

“I think if we go together and go to the Capitol, we can express our concerns and impact,” Moore said.  “I believe that you have to put yourself out there and fight for your rights, if not, you’ll never have any.”

Lawmakers are encouraging the youth to get involved and fighting for what they believe in.

Dieujuste and Moore said they want to educate their friends, family and peers to know what is going on within the LGBTQ community.