Tallahassee Democrat Published “Don’t Say Gay” Six Times More Than “Parental Rights in Education”

Tallahassee Democrat Published “Don’t Say Gay” Six Times More Than “Parental Rights in Education”

An analysis of news articles published by journalists in the Tallahassee Democrat between February 9th and March 11th show that reporters repeatedly used the term “Don’t Say Gay” slogan when writing about the Parental Rights in Education bill.

The analysis shows that the “Don’t Say Gay” term was used over 6 times more than the title of the bill, “Parental Rights in Education” in news articles.

The “Don’t Say Gay” slogan was adopted by opponents of the Parental Rights in Education bill. Supporters of the bill have argued the slogan mischaracterizes the legislation.

Tallahassee Democrat Print Edition

The analysis included the review of 13 news articles that were related to the Parental Rights in Education bill and published in the print edition of the Tallahassee Democrat between February 9th and March 11th.

Article published on the front page of the March 9th print edition of the Tallahassee Democrat.

The count of the terms “Don’t Say Gay” and “Parental Rights in Education” was determined by an archival search on the Tallahassee Democrat website. The count includes the times the terms were used in the title of the article, in the article, or in captions related to the article.

The analysis found that the “Don’t Say Gay” term was used 40 times in text related to the articles while the title of the bill, “Parental Rights in Education”, was used 6 times.

In the titles of the 13 news articles, “Don’t Say Gay” was used 7 times. The title of the bill, “Parental Rights in Education”, was not used once in the title of any of the 13 news stories.

The issue related to the Parental Rights in Education bill was front page news in the Tallahassee Democrat six times. The “Don’t Say Gay” slogan was included in the title in two of those six news stories. The title of the bill – “Parental Rights in Education”- was not used in the title of any of the news stories published on the front page during this period.

The Journalists

A total of seven journalists were involved in writing the 13 articles published by the Tallahassee Democrat. These journalists were Ana Goñi-Lessan (5), James Call (2), Ryan Dailey (2), Jeffrey Schweers (1), Jim Rosica (1), John Kennedy (1) and Mariah Wiggs (1).

Two of the journalists – Ryan Dailey and Mariah Wiggs – were not listed as affiliated with the Gannett Corporation or by the Tallahassee Democrat, but were noted as authors of articles published in the Tallahassee Democrat.  

Goñi-Lessan, the local education reporter for the Tallahassee Democrat, wrote 5 of the 13 articles reviewed. In those 5 articles, the “Don’t’ Say Gay” label was used 19 times and the title of the bill, “Parental Rights in Education”, was used 2 times. In three of the articles by Goñi-Lessan that used the “Don’t Say Gay” slogan, the title of the bill was never mentioned.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is DSGAG-1.png
Passage from article using “Don’t Say Gay” language .

In one article credited to Goñi-Lessan, the legislation was described as the “Don’t Say Gay bill” four times.

Call, a state reporter for USA Today, wrote two articles which mentioned the “Don’t Say Gay” slogan 8 times and used “Parental Rights in Education” once. Three of the “Don’t Say Gay” terms were related to captions.


Provided below is a table of information used in the analysis. The table includes the date of the article, the page the article appeared on, the title, the number of times each term was used in the article and the journalist.

28 Responses to "Tallahassee Democrat Published “Don’t Say Gay” Six Times More Than “Parental Rights in Education”"

  1. The TD coverage of this issue should not be surprising to anyone familiar with paper’s history. Over the last few years it has drifted to the left. It has become a mouthpiece for the Democrat Party. It unashamedly supports the party on all political issues. It does not have any relevance to conservative matters or voters. We, in Leon County, are, after all, in a Democrat county. Of course the TD panders to its primary reader base. It is, after all, a business, not a public service, not a protector of constitutional values, a business. Fortunately, it is on its last legs, soon to be history.

  2. Pretty sure “triggered” is the term commonly used to describe a spastic, over the top tantrum response by liberal snowflakes who choose to ignore reality to fortify their rank among the other invertebrates. Sometimes referred to as “virtue signaling”, another uniquely annoying liberal/progressive affliction.

  3. Jeremy-
    Your analogy is off. The difference in the two is easy to define. The bill that solidifies parents rights has been called the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” because it gaslights liberals like you. The Affordable Care Act being called Obamacare doesn’t have negative connotations but instead gives credit to the President. One is negative and one isn’t. I hope that helps you sleep at night.

  4. Loose Screw,

    Your comment is jaw dropping in that you fail to take accountability that there is War… because YOU, Putin, and Biden have screws loose, yet you have the hypocrisy to criticize those that have kept us out of War. Please take a screwdriver and screw in your loose screw before you make any more embarrassing comments.

  5. Bill Hatfield is a hack. The paper is a propaganda outlet for the democrat party. They made it the papers name for cryin out loud. They are part of the political machine in Tallahassee.

  6. I guess this poor excuse of a paper in the capital city of Florida is still considered “mullet wrap”. It was a piece a crap of a newspaper in the 1990’s and still is.

  7. So who decides at what age is sex orientation education of any kind appropriate? Seems like this a never ending problem created on purpose so that we won’t ever get to the actual important things. Hmmm?

  8. Wasn’t the Affordable Care Act called “Obamacare” more than the ACA? Seems to me peole redefine things on their own terms all the time.

  9. @ Hope,

    Neither Mary or Lena can provide answers to your questions because they are simply keyboard activists.

  10. The Democrat has been bad a long time. The reason a dying media outlet like the Democrat uses the phrase “Don’t Say Gay” is fairly simple. It drums up the base of Libs like Lena who don’t actually bother to read the bill. It’s the same stuff liberals did to Kyle Rittenhouse. A lot of people assume that he killed black people and that simply wasn’t the case.

  11. Actual bill language, for the many who never actually read it, including Goni-Lessan:

    Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.

  12. Here is what the bill actually says:
    “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students…”

    Requires school district policies to “… reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children…”

    Lays parameters for school district procedures – “The procedures may not prohibit parents from accessing any of their student’s education and health records created, maintained, or used by the school district…”

    GO READ THE BILL (HB1557) for yourself, and stop believing the Leftist talking points and its spurious agenda. The bill is only 7-pages long. In short, it forbids these sexual orientation conversations in grades K-3, and forbids schools from keeping secrets from parents. Leftists hate this bill because it undermines their heartfelt belief that it is the state’s right to teach your children how to think and what to believe, and that they know what is better for your kids than you do. They truly believe this.

    To quote Dr. Voddie Baucham, “We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.”

  13. My Father-in-Law gets the paper and sometimes at Sunday Dinner I look through it to see if any guns are for sale. I tried to read the “don’t say gay”, front page story but after just a few paragraphs, I realized, what I already knew, The Tallahassee Democrat is a liberal rag not worth my time or money. Unless you are wrapping fish or lining the bird cage, the Democrat is a waste of money.

    My take-away is that liberals vehemently want 5-, 6- and 7-years Olds taught about homosexuality, cross-dressers and queers. It amazes me what a democrat politician will agree to just to get your vote….i.e. more than 2 genders, then try and use his/her Catholic Faith (Pizzo) to justify his/her vote.

    How are you Biden voters feeling now? Are you happy fuel prices ? Are you happy with inflation? Are you happy the stores do not have your favorite brands? And the Piece de resistance are you happy that your children and grand-children being taught that all this immoral behavior by the LGBTUV groups is normal and to be admired?

    Come on Biden Voters….tell about how happy you are.

  14. “A total of seven journalists were involved in writing the 13 articles published by the Tallahassee Democrat. These journalists were Ana Goñi-Lessan (5), James Call (2), Ryan Dailey (2), Jeffrey Schweers (1), Jim Rosica (1), John Kennedy (1) and Mariah Wiggs (1).”

    Excellent reporting, Tallahassee Reports!

    When they publish the pictures of these reporters they should post their pictures at a slant,///////////// with a disclaimer that they receive money from George Soros to write at a slant and distort the truth to promote their WOKE agendas. We should write them thank-you letters the day after the election.

  15. I’m a republican and I don’t hate guys. The fact you make a statement like that only shows your ignorance and that you are part of the problem. It’s almost like you are racial profiling but using political beliefs instead of race. And you say Republicans are the problem.
    Shame on you

  16. The numbers of times the Democrat used the term don’t say gay do fit into the leftist pandering mission of that publication.
    The individuals trying to take a position on the left side are making statements that apply to the legality of being a member of the LGBTQ community being threatened which is totally irrelevant to to the purpose of the legislation.
    The legislation is aimed at putting a stop to what many see as grooming our K – 3 youngsters into something their parents object to. Your elected officials did this to keep themselves from being fired by the vast majority of their voting constituents at the next election. That’s how politics works.
    The bill never had anything anti LGBTQ in it either specifically written or intended.
    It was an anti grooming bill pure and simple with not one thing in the bill a reasonable person could possibility consider to be even remotely anti LGBTQ.

  17. So Steve, what does all this phrase tracking mean? Did you talk to any of the reporters or editors and ask them about what you found? Did you talk to any critics of the Democrat to ask their thoughts on this?

    1. All good questions. First, the phrase tracking speaks for itself. As an experienced reporter maybe you can provide a perspective on the analysis. Second, reporters at the Tallahassee Democrat do not talk to me. Thanks, Steve Stewart

  18. Lena,

    Would you be able to provide any positive accomplishments by the Biden Administration and the Florida Democrats?

  19. Probably because “Don’t say gay,” is how most people think of it. Most people don’t hate gay people the way Republicans do.

    There are no laws against being gay or being trans. Gay marriage is the law of the land.

    So, what the Republicans are doing is simply imposing their backward idea of their morality just to milk a few more votes out of their base.

    The rest of wonder why they are wasting their time when Florida has ACTUAL problems in housing, inflation, the environment and climate change. They already totally botched COVID and now 72,000 Floridians are dead.

    But, the Republicans only spend their time hating gay people and forbidding birth control.

  20. Also worthy of note is the fact that the ZING!s published each day contain a considerable number that trash Governor DeSantis and the decisions of his legislature. That’s not surprising The Tallahassee Democrat is like a stand-up comedian; they’re giving their audience, Leon County Liberals, what they want.

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