Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton has slammed Florida’s hateful ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law ahead of the Miami Grand Prix.
Over the last few years, the state’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis and his political allies have targeted the local LGBTQ+ community with horrific legislation.
One of the most controversial bills that the conservative official has signed into law is the archaic ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.
Under the harmful legislation, teachers and schools are barred from discussing “sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”
Despite the bill’s established restrictive nature, DeSantis signed an expansion to the law on 19 April – which now makes the legislation applicable to all grades, per AP News.
In response to Florida lawmakers’ frequent attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, activists and organisations have used their platforms to condemn their actions, including F1 champion Hamilton.
Ahead of the Miami Grand Prix, the 38-year-old talent slammed the state’s anti-LGBTQ+ policies while speaking to BBC 5 Live.
“It’s not good. At all. I stand by the LGBTQ community here and hope they continue to push back,” he said.
Hamilton also added that he would be wearing a helmet featuring a rainbow flag as support before comparing Florida’s politics to Saudi Arabia’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws.
Just spoken to Sir Lewis Hamilton about LGBT issues in Florida for @5liveSport
“It’s not good at all I stand by those within the community here. I hope they continue to stand firm + push back. I’ll have the rainbow on my helmet. It’s no different to when we were in Saudi. #F1 pic.twitter.com/8AJL89aBT2
— Christian Hewgill 🎙 (@ChrisHewgill) May 4, 2023
“It is no different to when we were in Saudi. It’s not the right direction and not the right message,” he continued.
“I am here and hoping that just by showing up with my helmet, I will be continuing to support the LGBT community and showing I stand with them in solidarity. I hope they continue to fight against it.
“The sport is going to be here whether I am here or not. While I am here, I am just going to continue to be supportive.”
As Hamilton mentioned, the Miami Grand Prix isn’t the first time he’s used his platform to fight for LGBTQ+ rights.
Back in 2021, the World Drivers’ champion condemned Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Hungary during their respective grand prix races.
In an interview with Sky News, Hamilton opened up about the importance of speaking out against anti-LGBTQ+ hate while attending races in conservative places.
“We don’t choose where we’re going, others have chosen for us to be here, so we have to apply the pressure on them to make sure that they are doing right by the people in those places, sparking conversations, creating that uncomfortable discussion that is needed in these places,” he told Sky Sports.
“Do I feel comfortable here? I wouldn’t say that I do. But it’s not my choice to be here. The sport has taken the choice to be here.”
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