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Camila Cabello has launched her Protect Our Kids Fund.
The 25-year-old singer has teamed up with Equality Florida and Lambda Legal on the initiative, which will offer resources to students, teachers, and families impacted by Florida's ‘Don't Say Gay' law – which restricts schools on their teaching of sexual orientation and gender issues in the state – because she is “appalled” by the legislation and insisted “every” family deserves respect.
Camila – who launched the fund with a benefit concert at the San Vicente Bungalows in West Hollywood on Sunday (08.05.22) – said: “As someone who grew up and still lives in Florida, I am appalled that my home state is putting the health and lives of young Floridians at risk by passing this law and inviting discrimination into our schools. We must protect every student and respect every family.
“I am so grateful to all of our founding partners who are standing in solidarity with LGBTQ+ youth and families, and raising money for the Protect All Kids Fund to help Lambda Legal and Equality Florida stop this hateful law.”
Additional founding members of the Protect Our Kids Fund include Lance Bass, Casey Bloys, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his husband Justin Mikita, Lilly Singh, and Sara Gilbert.
The initiative has already raised over $550,000 and further donations can be made at the Fund's website.
Equality Florida insisted there is an “overwhelming” need for the fund as the “chilling effect” of the legislation can already be seen in the state's schools.
Their executive director, Nadine Smith, said: “The need for support is overwhelming â this cruel law is already having a chilling effect on Florida schools.
“Anti-bullying resources have been removed by the Florida Department of Education. Books that include gay parents or any LGBTQ+ characters are being challenged and yanked from school bookshelves. Even And Tango Makes Three, the true story of two penguins raising a chick together at a zoo has been challenged as ‘obscene' because the adult penguins are both male.”
“This law emboldens a small, angry cadre of anti-LGBTQ+ adults to intimidate school districts and incentivises them to sue for $10,000 no matter how frivolous or extreme their claims.
“As a parent I believe our laws must ensure our children's safety, protection, and freedom. But now politicians are cynically rejecting those values and advancing legislation that targets LGBTQ+ kids for bullying and mistreatment, just because of who they are.
“Our schools should protect all students â including LGBTQ+ students â so they can learn and thrive in a safe environment. These bills will force schools to violate that most basic trust.
“We will continue to stand with the families who have fought to be recognised and the students who demanded to be included and respected.”