Florida’s Republican-controlled Senate has passed the widely controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill by a vote of 22-17, bringing it one step away from becoming law.

It will now head to the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis, who will either veto it or give it his signature.

However, it is expected that he will do the latter given that he has expressed his support for it in recent months, meaning it would go into effect from 1 July.

The legislation, which is officially called the Parental Rights in Education bill, seeks to restrict “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity” in primary schools.

LGBTQ+ activists are fearful that it could totally limit any discussions or lessons on identity, the community’s history and the oppression it has faced – prompting its ‘Don’t Say Gay’ nickname.

Senator Shevrin Jones, who is the first openly LGBTQ+ Black person elected to Florida Legislature, condemned the bill for being “another stain in the history of Florida.”

Cathryn M. Oakley, State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel at the Human Rights Campaign, said that the legislation does not “solve any issues in Florida” and that laws like this “shamefully attack and endanger LGBTQ+ students who are just trying to get a quality education”.

She added: “The Florida state legislature is playing a dangerous political game with the health and safety of LGBTQ+ kids.

Republicans hold a majority of 78 seats to the Democrat’s 40 in Florida’s House of Representatives, which previously passed ‘Don’t Say Gay’ by a vote of 69-47 on 24 February.

The bill has been denounced by the administration of President Joe Biden, with the White House calling it an “attack” on LGBTQ+ children.

“I want every member of the LGBTQI+ community — especially the kids who will be impacted by this hateful bill — to know that you are loved and accepted just as you are,” President Biden wrote on Twitter on 8 February. “I have your back, and my Administration will continue to fight for the protections and safety you deserve.”