Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs the Parental Rights in Education bill at Classical Preparatory School on March 28 in Shady Hills, Fla. (Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

WASHINGTON — The Japanese American Citizens League released the following statement on March 30.

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Earlier this week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill into law for his state. Also this week, in Utah, a bill that would bar transgender youth from participating in girls’ sports was vetoed by the governor, only to be overturned by the State Legislature. These bills come following a string of similar anti-LGBTQIA+ laws that have been introduced across the country and in several instances, already becoming law.

As staunch supporters of the LGBTQIA+ community, JACL condemns the actions of Gov. DeSantis and many others who have sought to attack the LGBTQIA+ community through these legislative efforts.

The LGBTQIA+ community, and especially LGBTQIA+ youth, have long faced discrimination and violence, which has caused higher rates of health risks and suicide.

JACL has been an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community for many years, passing our first national resolution in support of same-sex marriage in 1994. We have seen so much change in our society in amazing ways to support the LGBTQIA+ community over the past 30 years. To see these new laws taking the nation a step backward is not only disheartening but also extremely dangerous.

We join the hundreds of other organizations and community groups nationwide standing with the LGBTQIA+ community in Florida and across the country who are fighting these bills. We hope that politicians listen to all their constituents, especially those who are directly impacted by these laws, instead of the disinformation and vitriol supporting such discriminatory legislation.

The JACL demands inclusion and acceptance for members of the LGBTQIA+ community in order to help nurture our youth and future generations.

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