A Florida House panel has advanced a bill that would prevent schools, universities, and other public buildings from flying flags that depict a "racial, sexual orientation and gender, or political ideology viewpoint."
This includes Pride and Black Lives Matter flags, often seen at schools and college campuses.
The bill, introduced by Miami Republican David Borrero, passed a rule of law subcommittee hearing with a 9-4 vote along party lines on Wednesday.
During the hearing, Borrero said that students are “being subliminally indoctrinated” by the flags flying at their places of learning.
“The premise for this bill is very simple, and one that we should all agree with on this committee — our taxpayer dollars should not be subsidizing political speech in government buildings and classrooms,” Borrero said. “It’s time we stopped letting local governments and public school teachers from using classrooms in government buildings as their indoctrination pulpit.”
If passed, teachers would also be prohibited from wearing Pride merchandise or displaying it in their classrooms.
“Public classrooms should not be the place where our kids go to be radicalized and evangelized into accepting these partisan, radical ideologies,” Borrero said. “It’s wholly inappropriate to be putting those types of flags in front of public school students and in government buildings.”
Democrat State Senator Shevrin Jones, who is gay, claimed that the proposed legislation is "authoritarian" and "fascism."
“Are we in Cuba? Are we in Russia? That’s fascism at its best,” he said, adding that he has a Pride at the Capitol poster in his office lobby, according to a report from The Guardian.
Jones continued, “How I was raised, the rainbow meant hope. I can promise you – it wasn’t that that made me gay. I’m not taking a damn thing down. I want everybody to see it.”
The Florida House’s state affairs committee is now considering the bill.
Republicans hold the majority in both the Florida House and Senate.