Why Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' law feels like the clock is turning back for LGBT+ people

ITV News Correspondent Robert Moore hears from those who feel 'relentlessly' attacked

There's a new front line in America's culture wars, and it's pitching parents against teachers and students.

Florida has introduced a ban on teaching about gender and sexuality in the classroom to some elementary aged children.

It's a fight that has even dragged the most American of companies, Disney, into the fray.

The Parental Rights bill, 1557, was signed into law by Florida's Governor, Ron DeSantis, a vocal supporter of President Trump and a potential candidate for President himself in 2024.

Supporters say it puts control back into the hands of parents and is a response to a surge in, what they call, "woke" lessons on LGBT+ issues.

After huge pressure from its workforce, Disney came out against the bill and so attracted the fury of Republicans - once the cheerleaders of big business and corporate America.

Those in favour of the Bill protested against Disney outside its iconic Florida attraction park. Credit: ITV News

Governor Ron DeSantis has even decided to remove Disney's special status, and thousands of Americans have cancelled their subscriptions to the company's streaming services.

Kris Rine has been teaching in Florida's schools for more than 20 years. She sponsors the Gay Straight Alliance club in her school - a safe place for students to discuss issues around their sexuality they may not want to talk about at home.

The bill has been a devastating blow to Kris - herself a proud gay mum.

She says she fears that the years of painful progress in encouraging young people to be themselves and feel accepted may be ending.

"None of us wave a flag, none of us are doing anything to indoctrinate a student," Kris told ITV News

Will Larkins is one student who has found his voice in school. He's not afraid to challenge those who want to silence him and other LGBT+ young people.

He was angry that in a course on modern day moments in the American story, the Stonewall uprising wasn't on the curriculum.

"I'm begging them to stop attacking us relentlessly," urges Will.

He taught his own class about it, and became a powerful advocate against the bill at the same time.

Will too fears that the hard-won freedoms of the LGBT+ community are at risk and he's frightened by what he sees as a depressing return to hate speak and intimidation.

For both Kris and Will, Florida's focus on what is and isn't age appropriate for kids to ask questions about feels like a return to the bad old days, when being gay was something to hide, especially at school.

"For the first time in probably 20 years, we're going backwards and it is really scary."

It seems likely the bill will be challenged in the courts, but those behind it are adamant that it's up to parents to decide what and when their children learn about gender and sexuality.

It's a view finding favour beyond Florida's borders with plenty more states queuing up to introduce their own laws.

America's culture wars are far from over.