TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (WSVN) - A controversial bill banning discussions of sexual orientation in schools has moved forward in the state legislature, but it’s received pushback from the federal government, including from the president himself.

The White House released a statement on the bill Tuesday, and Wednesday we’re hearing from the highest ranking member of the LGBTQ community in the Biden Administration.

“It tells youths who are different or whose families are different that there is something wrong with them out of the gate,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

The national spotlight fell on Florida one day after the Parents Rights In Education Bill passed the State Senate Education Committee.

Critics call it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Buttigieg is the first openly gay cabinet member in American history, weighed in.

“At any age where it is appropriate to talk about, you know, a kid’s mom and dad, it should be appropriate to talk about a kid’s mom and mom or dad and dad or whatever family structures we live with. That’s part of what it means to be pro-family, is to be pro-every-family,” said Buttigieg.

The bill would stop Florida school districts from encouraging classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity.

It would also give parents the right to sue a district.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis supports it.

“I do think you’ve seen instances in which kids are encouraged to be, um, doing stuff with a gender ideology, and I do think the parents really need to be involved in that,” said DeSantis.

Parents and community members in Tallahassee also voiced their opinions.

“We support Senate Bill 1834 because we believe that this bill protects children by empowering parents to engage in their children’s lives and education by increasing transparency of official school district policy,” said Florida Family Policy Council member Aaron Dipietro.

“These situations are not hypothetical. The parental violations that are occurring are occurring all over our state. In September 2020 I found out that the school formed a transgender support plan for my daughter with three school officials without notifying me,” said January Littlejohn, who supports the bill.

Among those who don’t like the bill is Central Florida State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith.

He said it’s the latest in a string of what he calls authoritarian measures.

“Governor DeSantis is pushing this bill and a number of other bills that basically censor honest conversations and discussions that he doesn’t like, not just about the LGBTQ community but conversations about diversity and race and history,” said Smith.

The two-month-long legislative session is set to wrap up March 11.

The bills will now move to the Judiciary committee and then to the House and the Senate for a final vote.

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