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LGBTQ event at Florida church ignites public anger and protest threats

Controversy surrounding the Naples, Florida, Pride event for teens has led organizers to request extra police protection.

An upcoming Pride event for LGBTQ teens to be held at a Florida church on Saturday has ignited public anger and protest threats, according to WBBH-TV, an NBC affiliate in Southwest Florida.

The Youth Pride Conference is geared toward students between the ages of 12 and 18. The event is being organized by GLSEN, a nonprofit focused on making schools more inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youths, and it's being hosted by the Naples United Church of Christ.

Daniel Shaw, one of the event's organizers, said the controversy surrounding the event — particularly the planned drag show — led him to request extra protection from the Naples Police Department.

“This will obviously be a family-friendly event," Shaw told WBBH-TV. "It’s nothing I wouldn’t take my 3- and 4-year-old kids to."

Saturday's Pride event comes less than two months after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed education legislation that critics have dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill. The measure, officially titled the Parental Rights in Education law, prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity “in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” It goes into effect July 1.

To read the full story, visit WBBH-TV's website.

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