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Florida LGBTQ+ advocates slam ban on sociology, DEI at state’s universities

Florida College University DEI Sociology Studies

The Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the state’s university system, made the decision to implement higher education reforms championed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

LGBTQ+ advocates slammed Florida higher education officials for eliminating Sociology courses and any diversity programs on campuses.

The Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the state’s university system, made the decision in implementing higher education reforms championed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“It should be no surprise that today the Florida Board of Governors, a rubber stamp for Ron DeSantis’s agenda of censorship and surveillance, approved unprecedented rules that effectively abolish diversity and inclusion programs in our State University System intended to support LGBTQ and minority students,” said Carlos Guillermo Smith, Equality Florida’s Senior Policy Advisor.

“The Board’s rules go well beyond its authority granted by the Legislature and instead impose broad censorship on a vast array of campus activities and speech and seriously threaten student and faculty participation in public life across the political, social, and religious spectrum. The shockingly broad and vague language will inevitably lead to self-censorship and a chilling effect that will end academic freedom as we know it on university campuses.”

The university action took place just over a week after the Florida Board of Education voted to permanently ban any diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in Florida’s public colleges as well.

“Higher education must return to its essential foundations of academic integrity and the pursuit of knowledge instead of being corrupted by destructive ideologies,” said Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. “These actions today ensure that we will not spend taxpayers’ money supporting DEI and radical indoctrination that promotes division in our society.”

Smith said the actions taken to stop any recognition, much less promotion, of equality on Florida campuses marked an appalling blow to education in the state.

“The sweeping away of academic freedom combined with the elimination of sociology as a core course option, a reckless and unresearched decision made with little review of potential impacts, has diminished the prestige and reputation of Florida’s public universities,” he said. “The Board of Governors had the opportunity to hit the brakes, but instead, shamefully followed their censorship agenda off a cliff in service to DeSantis’s failed political ambitions.”

DeSantis embraced anti-LGBTQ policy in the build-up to a run for president, one he suspended earlier this month after a distant second-place finish to former President Donald Trump in Iowa, the first state to hold a presidential contest this year.

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