Ron’s LGBTQ Obsession

Ron’s LGBTQ Obsession

Taken in their totality, Florida’s slate of laws and policies targeting basic freedoms and rights pose a serious risk to the health and safety of those traveling to the state.

-- Equality Florida Travel Advisory

On May 17, 2023, in front of a cheering crowd at Tampa’s Cambridge Christian School, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantissigned a slewof bigoted bills that target the LGBTQ community for discrimination.

One new law prohibits gender-affirming care for minors, with the governor referring to it as children being “mutilated.” Despite the governor’s distortion of the practice, gender-affirming care is supported by key medical associations, such as the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The governor also banned discussion of personal pronouns in schools with DeSantis’ snidely saying, “We’re not doing the pronoun Olympics in Florida.” Another law bullying trans students demands they use the bathroom of their birth sex.

“They have cloaked themselves in being the party of less government and parental rights, and what we’re seeing now is the total opposite,” said Democratic State Sen. Shevrin Jones, who is gay. “Every other parent has the right to raise their child the way that they want to as long as your child is not gay, trans, bisexual. That’s freedom for some parents, but not for all parents.”

DeSantis also targeted drag shows, preventing children from attending by deliberately mislabeling them “adult live performances.” The DeSantis regime intends to enforce the law by threatening to pull liquor licenses from businesses that don’t comply with his edicts. The initial result was Tampa Pride making the unwise decision to cancel LGBTQ Pride.

"If you want a bully person, and you want to take away people's rights this is the thing to do," Tampa Pride President Carrie West said.

Additionally, DeSantis signed a bill defunding diversity and equity programs at public colleges and universities, drawing a robust round of news coverage

This was not the first attack by DeSantis on the LGBTQ Community. Not by far

On April 12, 2023, the statewide LGBTQ rights organization Equality Florida took the extraordinary step of issuing an advisory urging caution before traveling or relocating to DeSantistan.

“As an organization that has spent decades working to improve Florida’s reputation as a welcoming and inclusive place to live work and visit, it is with great sadness that we must respond to those asking if it is safe to travel to Florida or remain in the state as the laws strip away basic rights and freedoms,” said Nadine Smith, Equality Florida Executive Director.
“While losing conferences, and top students who have written off Florida threatens lasting damage to our state, it is most heartbreaking to hear from parents who are selling their homes and moving because school censorship, book bans and health care restrictions have made their home state less safe for their children. We understand everyone must weigh the risks and decide what is best for their safety, but whether you stay away, leave or remain we ask that you join us in countering these relentless attacks.

Perhaps, the most alarming assault on LGBTQ Floridians is a new DeSantis law that lets medical providers deny service to patients based on their religious beliefs. Metro Weekly reports:

Under the law, which goes into effect on July 1, any medical provider, including doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, pharmacists, mental health professionals, or lab technicians, as well as nursing home workers and hospital administrators, may refuse to provide care to patients if doing so would violate their conscience. Insurance companies also enjoy the right to deny care based on any moral, ethical, or religious objections.

Instead of addressing Florida’s multitude of serious problems, Little Dic Ron spends a disproportionate amount of his time harassing and scapegoating LGBTQ youth and drag queens.

“They’re now using intimidation and threats of misdemeanor charges to scare LGBTQ-friendly cities out of hosting drag altogether,” tweeted former Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith

DeSantis piously frames his anti-LGBTQ attacks as efforts to protect Florida’s children. However, the governor’s reprehensible record on children’s safety tells a radically different story.

The Department of Children and Families, which was created to help youth who have suffered abuse, abandonment or neglect, reports “unacceptably high vacancy rates” and surging numbers of investigators leaving their jobs.

Between June 2019 and June 2022, the vacancy rate for child protective investigators (CPIs) jumped from 6.6% to 21%. During the same time-period, the turnover rate for CPIs swelled to a whopping 71% from 45%. And at the end of the 2022 fiscal year, more than half of CPI workers had less than two years of experience The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports:

“The high vacancy rate has a negative impact on staff morale and overall well-being due to increased overtime and excessive work hours,” read a section of the budget recommendation. “This can be seen in exit survey results where the top reasons for dissatisfaction among these critical classes are work/life balance, volume of work, scheduling, and salary.” As of July, the base pay for investigators was $39,600.

DeSantis seems to have unlimited state funds to fight culture war lawsuits, but he habitually shortchanges the investigators charged with helping youth in crisis. The mind-blowing hypocrisy of DeSantis’ “protect the children” racket was laid bare by a Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald review of state financial transactions:

As Gov. Ron DeSantis has waged an aggressive war on what he considers “woke” culture, his ideas have come under fierce legal fire, with more than 15 lawsuits challenging his policies.
Four private law firms — each with deep connections to Republican Party politics — have been hired to defend the state, and the cost to Florida taxpayers is at least $16.7 million.

Additionally, the GOP’s “lemming legislature” is poised to spend an outrageous sum of $107 million in public funds to hand DeSantis his own private army that only answers to him. Plus, DeSantis has squandered$1.5 million on a digital driver’s license app that virtually no one is using or even knows exists

Instead of saving children’s lives, Little Dic Ron is funneling taxpayer money to rich lawyers and worthless vanity projects to boost his standing with social conservatives. His selfish desire to become president has taken precedence over keeping Florida’s mistreated youth safe and secure. That’s all one needs to know about the broken moral compass of an ethically-challenged governor who has cynically elevated his career over Florida’s children.

The governor’s homophobic efforts began in earnest with Florida’s odious Don’t Say Gay law (aka Parental Rights in Education Act). His staff falsely accused those opposed to his state-sponsored persecution of “grooming” children, a disgusting blood-libel designed to smear LGBTQ people and stir up hatred by insinuating that LGBTQ adults recruit youth.

The original Don’t Say Gay law prohibited instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity from kindergarten to third grade, although no such instruction existed. The real goal was to keep LGBTQ teachers in the closet, as well as humiliate schoolchildren with gay parents, by intimidating them into not to discussing their own families in class.

DeSantis deliberately conflates “sexualizing” with mere inclusion, to purge LGBTQ people from appearing in textbooks. That’s the case even though including gay parents in classroom instruction is no more inherently sexual than including heterosexual parents.

DeSantis lied when he said his law was designed to protect young children from being prematurely sexualized. If this were the case, DeSantis would no have expanded his “Don’t Say Gay” law to cover all grades, which includes students who are at an age where they are mature enough to handle conversations about sexual orientation and gender identity.

Clearly, this isn’t about protecting kids, but it has everything to do with encouraging bullying in schools, portraying LGBTQ identity as dirty, promoting stigma and erasing the existence of LGBTQ people from public life.

In doing so, Little Dic Ron is illegally indoctrinating students by imposing his fundamentalist religious worldview in taxpayer-funded schools. At the same time, he accuses opponents of indoctrinating rather than education. Other than backdoor proselyting and imposing his religious views on all Floridians, there is no justifiable or coherent reason for these bigoted laws. They do nothing to further learning, enhance education or create better citizens.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre condemned the revised “Don’t Say Gay” law. “It’s wrong. It’s completely, utterly wrong”, she said. Jean-Pierre called it “part of a disturbing and dangerous trend that we’re seeing across the nation” of targeting LGBTQ people. President Joe Biden called DeSantis’ actions “hateful.”

The New Republic wrote, that term “adult live performance,” is so vague even Republican lawmakers have admitted it could prevent a high school student from watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show or even the musical Hair.

To protest the “Don’t Say Gay” expansion, Equality Florida and the Social Equity through Education Alliance supported a coordinated student-led walkout at more than 300 high schools and colleges across the state.

While DeSantis likes to portray his law as promoting morality, a key Republican sponsor of the “Don’t Say Gay” law, former state Rep. Joseph Harding, pleaded guilty y to wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements in connection with COVID relief fraud. He faces 35 years in prison.

Maybe Little Dic Ron should spend more time overseeing Republican con artists than attacking LGBTQ students and teachers? His creepy fixation on LGBTQ youth has clearly affected his job performance and caused him to miss endemic corruption occurring right under his nose amongst his closest legislative allies.

DeSantis has also spent a great deal of time working to ban drag shows, an innocuous art form long enjoyed by the American people, including conservatives such as Donald Trump, George Santos and Rudy Giuliani.

It’s hypocritical and politically opportunistic for Republicans, who regularly take their children to Hooters after church services and have their kids order wings off the children’s menu, to suddenly mischaracterize drag shows as sexually provocative. It’s peculiar that while most Floridians are laughing at drag shows, DeSantis and his prurient supporters are lusting. Their depraved minds conjure imaginary sexual acts where none exist. We suggest they find qualified psychiatrists who can help them overcome their issues.

Of course, what they really object to, and find so threatening, is that drag queens teach tolerance at a time when DeSantis is preaching hate and division. Their lessons of kindness, inclusion and love vividly contrast with the nastiness and prejudice that Republicans are spreading throughout Florida.

While Little Dic Ron is taking autocratic actions to silence drag queens, the governor is allowing actual Nazis to run wild in Florida. That tells one all they need to know about the real values of Ron DeSantis.

But that’s not all. DeSantis is waging an especially heinous war against transgender Floridians. Like Soviet Stalin, the governor demanded a trove oof private information from 12 state universities about their students who receive gender-affirming treatments.

“Our office has learned that several state universities provide services to persons suffering from gender dysphoria. On behalf of the Governor, I hereby request that you respond to the enclosedinquiries related to such services,” wrote Chris Spencer, director of the Office of Policy and Budget for DeSantis, in a Jan. 11 memo to Florida universities.

Devoid of science to back their lies about transgender Floridians, DeSantis and his puppets have turned to blatantly distorting the work of legitimate researchers and twisting their findings to fit their agenda. According to Equality Florida:

DeSantis' allies in the legislature are demonstrating the depths to which they will sink in service to the governor's right-wing agenda and, by extension, his desperation to be President. The Trans Ban sponsors got caught lying about data they have warped in an effort to rationalize their cruelty. And transgender Floridians are paying the price.

It is an outrageous abuse of power for the unqualified DeSantis to unilaterally override the best advice on treatment from medical associations to fulfill his political ambitions. This issue is about individual liberty and whether grandstanding politicians can be constrained from intruding upon our lives with the invasive stick of Big Government

If Little Dic Ron can arrogantly deny medical treatments for transgender people today, what’s to stop him from choosing your medication and access to medical services tomorrow?

The changing political climate is beginning to have an impact. While driving to work one morning in May, drivers on a palm tree-lined street in an Orlando suburb noticed something was amiss with a traffic sign. In bright orange letters, it read: “KILL ALL GAYS.” The authorities immediately took down the message, but the larger signal sent by Ron DeSantis to haters throughout the state is loud and clear.

The overreaching of Florida’s intolerant government caused Miami Heat basketball legend Dwyane Wade to move out of Florida to protect his transgender daughter, Zaya. In an interview with Rachel Nichols on her show "Headliners," Wade said:

"I mean, obviously, the tax [situation] is great. Having Wade County is great. But my family would not be accepted or feel comfortable there. And so that's one of the reasons why I don't live there."

When Florida is no longer welcoming to a beloved hero like Dwyane Wade and his family, Floridians should take pause and ask if DeSantis’ hostility is going to cause long-term harm to the cultural and economic vitality of Florida.

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