TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (NEXSTAR) – On Monday, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the state’s highly controversial bill banning certain discussions on sexual orientation and gender identities in schools into law.

The law would apply to kindergarten through third-grade classrooms – according to supporters the bill aims to shield students from material that’s not “age-appropriate.”

The legislation would not only prevent teachers from discussing LGBTQ+ issues in classrooms, but it would also allow parents/guardians to sue teachers and/or schools who discuss these topics.

DeSantis signaled confidence in the bill’s passage Monday, saying: “We’re going to make sure that parents are able to send their kid to kindergarten without having some of this stuff injected into their school curriculum.”

The bill also contains language many worry will enable and/or force schools to “out” students who come out as LGBTQ+ to their families. According to the bill, schools are prohibited from preventing personnel from notifying parents about “specified information or that encourage the student to withhold from parent such information.”

Critics say the bill will further stigmatize queer youth, who are already predisposed to significantly higher mental stress, discrimination and tense home lives, according to the Trevor Project’s 2021 National Survey of LGBTQ Youth Mental Health.

Several Democrats – and even some Republicans – attempted to expand the bill so as not to single out queer youth.

13 total amendments were filed ahead of the House’s floor session; all were voted down.

One filed by Republican Fla. Sen. Jeffrey Brandes of St. Petersburg would have broadened the bill language from a ban on classroom instruction on “sexual orientation or gender identity” to “human sexuality, including, but not limited to, curricula addressing sexual activity, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”

Brandes was among only two Republicans to vote against the bill.

“This is a blanket amendment,” Brandes said. “It says ‘talk to your parents’ about all of these conversations between kindergarten and third grade. Do I want my 8-year-old being instructed on sexual activity? Nope, I don’t want that, and neither do you.”

Other amendments would have defined the terms gender identity and sexual orientation, required schools to protect those categories in order to create a safe environment for students, and changed a separate statute on health education to teach the benefits of “monogamous” marriage rather than “heterosexual.”

“This is going to endanger the safety of our LGBTQ students and adolescents,” Democratic Sen. Annette Taddeo said during Tuesday’s debate. “We will not stop until this state moves forward and actually values everyone in it, everyone no matter their sexual orientation.” 

President Joe Biden condemned HB 1577, calling it “hateful” and pledging his administration would work to protect rights for the LGBTQ+ community.

These measures come as a flurry of challenges to LGBTQ-referential books in public schools and libraries sweeps the nation, with many books banned or removed from shelves. If signed into law, HB 1557 will take effect in Florida on July 1.