As battles against LGBTQ freedoms heat up in the South, pop superstar Shawn Mendes wants his fans to make their voices heard by those in power.
In a quote tweet published on Monday evening (March 7), Mendes shared a post from Equality Florida showing a group of “students and faith leaders” protesting outside the Florida Capitol in opposition to the state’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Adding his own comment, Mendes called his fans to action.
“Florida, call your senators,” he wrote, adding a link to the state’s website listing their senators and the hashtag “#LetFreeFloridaSayGay.”
The “Don’t Say Gay” bill, passed by the Florida House of Representatives in February and moving to the state Senate Floor Tuesday (March 8) as CS/CS/HB 1557 — or the Parental Rights in Education bill — would specifically prohibit “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels” at public schools around the state, as well as giving parents the ability to “bring action against school district” should those conversations happen.
Opponents of the bill have argued that its implementation would put Florida’s LGBTQ youth at greater risk for declining mental health, an area in which LGBTQ youth are already disproportionately affected compared to their straight counterparts. They also argue that the bill, should it be passed into law, would be a violation of both teachers and students’ First Amendment rights.
Mendes is certainly not the first celebrity to speak out against the controversial bill — stars such as Kerry Washington, Patricia Arquette, Billy Eichner and many more have spoken out online against the controversial legislation. Even President Joe Biden has called the bill “hateful,” and reassured the LGBTQ kids it would affect that he would “continue to fight for the protections and safety you deserve.”
Check out Mendes’ call to action below:
— Shawn Mendes (@ShawnMendes) March 8, 2022