Camila Cabello Launches Protect Our Kids Fund in Response to Florida's 'Hateful' 'Don't Say Gay' Law

"We must protect every student and respect every family," said Camila Cabello in a statement about the Protect Our Kids Fund, launched this week in partnership with Equality Florida and Lambda Legal

Camila Cabello Launches Protect Our Kids Fund in Response to Florida's 'Hateful' 'Don't Say Gay' Law
Camila Cabello. Photo: Rahul Bhatt

Camila Cabello is putting her LGBTQ+ community allyship to work.

On Sunday, the 25-year-old Familia performer launched her Protect Our Kids Fund, which helps and offers resources to students, teachers, and families affected by Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law, with a benefit concert at the San Vicente Bungalows in West Hollywood.

"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," said Cabello in a statement of the fund, launched in partnership with Equality Florida and Lambda Legal. "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," she continued, "and raising money for the Protect All Kids Fund to help Lambda Legal and Equality Florida stop this hateful law."

Launched with support from founding chairs including Amazon Music, Berlanti Family Foundation, Ellen Bronfman Hauptman and Andrew Hauptman, the Ron Conway Family, the Gray Butler Family, David Geffen Foundation, Levi Strauss & Co, Nordstrom, Inc., Propper Daley, Jeff Klein and John Goldwyn, Ryan Murphy, LALO Tequila and William Morris Endeavor (WME), the Protect Our Kids Fund has already raised $550,000 for the cause.

Additional founding members of the Protect Our Kids Fund include Lance Bass, Casey Bloys, Jesse Tyler Ferguson & Justin Mikita, Joel Simkhai & Brenden Strauss, Lilly Singh and Sara Gilbert.

Camila Cabello Launches Protect Our Kids Fund in Response to Florida's 'Hateful' 'Don't Say Gay' Law
Camila Cabello. Mike Ojo

The event was also hosted by Klein and featured a speech from pop star Kim Petras as well as performances from RuPaul's Drag Race star Valentina, musicians Shea Diamond and Jake Wesley Rogers, and the Manual Arts High School vocal ensemble.

Cabello spoke about the event in an Instagram post shared Sunday. "I am sooo honored to have spent Mother's Day supporting @lambdalegal and @equalityfl in launching the Protect Our Kids Fund which supports litigation against the hateful Don't Say Gay or Trans law in FL," she wrote in its caption.

"A HUGE shoutout to our Co-Chairs and @danielarison_ of The Ted Arison Family Foundation for kickstarting this fund with their generous donations," continued the "Bam Bam" singer. "And to all the other supporters who have already helped raise over $500k to protect the LGBTQ community!"

"The need for support is overwhelming — this cruel law is already having a chilling effect on Florida schools," Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida, said in a statement. "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 incentivizes them to sue for $10,000 no matter how frivolous or extreme their claims," continued Smith. "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 — including LGBTQ+ students — so they can learn and thrive in a safe environment. These bills will force schools to violate that most basic trust," she concluded. "We will continue to stand with the families who have fought to be recognized and the students who demanded to be included and respected."

In March, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the controversial Parental Rights in Education bill — denounced by opponents as the "Don't Say Gay" law — which aims to limit how classrooms, particularly for lower grades, can teach children about topics related to sexual orientation and gender identity. The law will go into effect in July.

"Governor DeSantis' political gameplay is discriminatory and puts the lives of our most vulnerable children at risk," Kevin Jennings, Lambda Legal CEO, said in a statement. "Our young people are not political pawns, and we are coming after this disgusting and dangerous law in court."

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His statement continued: "With the support of corporate partners, celebrities like Camila Cabello, and people who want all our children to be protected, we are ready to battle to keep this law from inflicting harm on any of Florida's families."

In addition to the Protect Our Kids Fund, Lambda Legal and Daniel Arison Dorsman of The Ted Arison Family Foundation have also put several hotlines in place for parents, students, and teachers seeking critical help and legal resources. The hotlines are: 833-I-SAY-GAY, 833-SAY-TGNC, and 833-LGBTQLAW.

Contributions to the Protect Our Kids Fund can be made at the organization's website.

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