Florida Senate Democrats organized a protest against a bill that would bar teachers from talking to young children about sexuality and gender identity Monday.
“Gay! Gay! Gay! My daughter’s gay,” three women can be seen singing to the tune of “Smoke On The Water” in a video shared by Florida Senate Democrats on Twitter.
The group walked through a crowd of cheering protesters in the Florida statehouse holding signs promoting trans and gay rights.
The bill at issue would prohibit teachers in public schools from discussing issues of sexual orientation or gender identity with children in grades kindergarten through three. Under the bill’s language, local school districts could opt to block those topics for older children as well.
The bill passed the House last week, and is set for consideration by the Senate on Monday.
Critics have dubbed it the “Dony Say Gay” bill, and it has inspired protests and student walkouts around the state. It was even featured over the weekend in a segment on “Saturday Night Live,” which, not surprisingly, slammed the bill.
“As a gay man, I take full responsibility for registering hundreds of new Republican voters in Florida & training thousands of volunteers. I’m looking forward to helping re-elect Governor Ron DeSantis,” said Scott Presler on Twitter.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ main spokeswoman ruffled a few liberal feathers on Sunday after she suggested the Parental Rights in Education bill could fairly be called an “anti-grooming” bill.
On Sunday, DeSantis’ spokeswoman Christina Pushaw tweeted, “The bill that liberals inaccurately call ‘Don’t Say Gay’ would be more accurately described as an Anti-Grooming Bill.”
“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.”
In response, Democratic state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith of Orlando, who is the only openly gay man now in the Florida House, said on Twitter that Pushaw should be fired.
“DeSantis’ spokesperson openly accused opponents of #DontSayGay of being ‘groomers’- aka PEDOPHILES,” he tweeted. “Bigoted attacks like this against LGBTQ people are the worst of the worst. They’re disgusting and dangerous and have NO PLACE in the Guv’s office. ChristinaPushaw must resign.”
Democratic Rep. Michele Rayner of Clearwater, who is reportedly the only lesbian in the Legislature, also trashed Pushaw’s comments on social media.
“Chrissy, this trope is tired and lacks originality,” Rayner tweeted. “It’s clear you don’t like LGBTQ people – just say that. But no matter how you feel – we are here. We’ve been here. And we aren’t going anywhere.”
Critics of the bill have said it could adversely affect kids who are questioning their sexuality.
But as The Free Press has noted previously, those same critics of the Parental Rights in Education bill cannot explain why it is proper or appropriate for teachers to discuss their sex lives or their sexual orientation with, as GOP Rep. Kaylee Tuck of Lake Placid put it last week, “children that are learning how to color inside the lines.”
Critics have also wildly mischaracterized the bill. Nothing in the bill prevents children in these situations from seeking counseling from a teacher or other faculty member, or any other adult for that matter, if they believe these issues affect them.
The bill’s text plainly says school districts “may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity.”