AFGE Local 507 mobilized union allies in West Palm Beach to oppose an anti-LGBTQ+ bill that would prohibit classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in the state’s primary schools. A protest against the “Don’t Say Gay” bill was organized by AFGE Local 507 Executive Vice President Donna Pixley, who also sits on the board of the Sanctuary of the Treasure Coast, a local non-profit with the goal to build an LGBTQ+ community center in the area.
Pixley said she noticed that the AFL-CIO was doing a march against the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Orlando, so she told her local president that they should do something like that locally. So, they did.
“I reached out and spoke with our Democratic liaison, and she was able to get the St. Lucie Democrats on board,” she explained.
The bill passed the state House Feb. 24. The protest took place Feb. 26, two days before the state Senate Appropriations Committee was scheduled to vote on the bill. It eventually passed the committee. It is now set to be voted on in the Senate at an unknown date.
Pixley said they’re planning further actions to stop the passage of the bill. They plan on calling the senators offices daily, and if this is still undecided by the weekend, they may hold another picket.
“This bill is extremely anti-LGBTQ,” Pixley said. “It goes way beyond the text on its page. It sends a terrible message to our youth that there is something so wrong, so inappropriate, so dangerous about this topic that we have to censor it from classroom instruction.”
“We are essentially going back in time erasing our history, and if this passes, what’s next? The repeal of gay marriage?” she asked.