The spokesperson for Governor DeSantis, Christina Pushaw, responded to the “Don’t Say Gay” label of the Parental Rights in Education bill with a moniker of her own and outrage ensued from LGBTQ advocates.
Pushaw tweeted that the “bill that liberals inaccurately call “Don’t Say Gay” would be more accurately described as an Anti-Grooming Bill.” And added, “If you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4-8-year-old children. Silence is complicity. This is how it works, Democrats, and I didn’t make the rules.”
The backlash was quick.
First, Joe Saunders, the political director for Equality Florida responded by mischaracterizing Pushaw’s comments.
Saunders tweeted, “@GovRonDeSantis chief spokesperson just called us all pedophiles. We’ve always known the #dontsaygaybill was a about anti-lgbtq animus. She just said the quiet part out loud. DSG is on the Senate floor Mon and students are organizing. Bring your outrage to Tallahassee #flapol.”
Michael Womack, the Communication Director for Equality Florida, tweeted out, “Deplatform Christina Pushaw.”
Also, a legislator took Pushaw’s response to her wife personally, and responded with a challenge.
Florida House Representative Michele Rayner-Goolsby tweeted, “Chrissy…tread lightly. I don’t play about MY WIFE. You can find me in the chamber if you would like to further to discuss. Stop playing with me.”
Pushaw replied, “I’m not “Chrissy” to you. And why are you threatening me?”
Emotions are running high as the Parental Rights in Education bill has become the legislation that progressive Democrats and LGBTQ advocates are using to energize their followers.
The legacy media has helped to promote the opponents message. DeSantis responded late last week when a reporter used the “Don’t Say Gay” label in a question.
“You call it that. I’ve not seen that in any of these bills. Where is that coming from? You’re in the news business. Does the truth matter or not? Is that in any of the bills?” asked DeSantis.
The actual language in the Parental Rights in Education bill “prohibits a school district from encouraging classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”
On Monday, DeSantis responded again to a reporter who used the opponent’s moniker to reference the bill. ” I am asking you to tell me what’s in the bill because you are pushing a false narrative … the idea that you wouldn’t be honest about that and tell people what it actually says, it’s why people don’t trust people like you, because you peddle false narratives …” said DeSantis.
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Steve Stewart is a senior contributor at The Florida Capital Star.