WASHINGTON — On Monday, February 14 at 10:00 a.m. ET, PEN America will convene a virtual media briefing of LGBTQ+ and free speech advocates to discuss the “Don’t Say Gay” bill advancing in the Florida Senate that would bar school districts from encouraging classroom discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity. 

PEN has been the premier national organization defending free expression for the last 100 years, and their team has been at the forefront of tracking intrusive efforts by state legislatures to suppress academic freedom, ban certain curricula, and erase the identities and stories of marginalized groups. 

Register for the event here. 

Participants will include Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America and author of Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All, Jean-Marie Navetta, director of learning & inclusion for PFLAG National, Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida and Mary Emily O’Hara of GLAAD — with more speakers to come.

GLAAD was founded in response to the HIV and AIDS crisis over thirty years ago, and since then has been at the forefront of cultural change, accelerating acceptance for the LGBTQ community through entertainment, news, and digital media. 

Founded in 1973, PFLAG is the first and largest organization for LGBTQ+ people, their families, and allies. Navetta has led its Straight for Equality program since 2007, which aims to invite, educate, and engage new allies in the effort to achieve full inclusion for LGBTQ+ people. 

Equality Florida is the state’s largest organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition to her role as executive director, Smith currently serves as chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Florida Advisory Committee. WHO: Suzanne Nossel, CEO, PEN America

Jean-Marie Navetta, director of learning and inclusion, PFLAG National

Nadine Smith, executive director, Equality Florida

Mary Emily O’Hara, rapid response manager, GLAAD 

WHAT: Virtual panel on Florida’s Don’t Say Gay legislation and freedom of expression 

WHERE: Zoom; Register here to RSVP

WHEN: Monday, February 14 at 10:00 a.m. ET 

MEDIA CONTACT: Jessica Sarstedt jsarstedt@westendstrategy.com  Questions may be emailed to Jessica in advance