bad education

DeSantis press secretary tweets vile take on ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill and the Internet just can’t with her

Image: Twitter

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ press secretary is facing fierce criticism after she referred to Florida’s so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill as an “anti-grooming bill.”

“The bill that liberals inaccurately call ‘Don’t Say Gay’ would be more accurately described as an Anti-Grooming Bill,” Press Secretary Christina Pushaw tweeted on Friday. “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.”

Related: ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill is passed by Florida’s House

The bill prohibits any discussion about sexuality or gender between kindergarten and third grade “or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” Opponents argue it will make life harder for LGBTQ youth, who already face higher rates of bullying and suicide risk compared to their straight, cisgender peers.

Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, who is gay, called for Pushaw’s resignation.

“DeSantis’ spokesperson openly accused opponents of #DontSayGay of being ‘groomers’— aka PEDOPHILES,” Smith 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.”

And Equality Florida said in a statement: “Governor DeSantis’ spokesperson said the quiet part out loud: that this bill is grounded in a belief that LGBTQ people, simply by existing, are a threat to children and must be erased. [DeSantis] chose Pushaw to speak his mind to the public. He owns this unbridled hatred. This same bigoted insinuation has long been been used to stigmatize our families, justify denying us the ability to adopt children, and is being used to justify the tracking of transgender children by government agents in Texas and threats to imprison their parents. Make no mistake — this is a tacit announcement from the Governor that he supports the true intent of the Don’t Say Gay bill: the erasure of LGBTQ people.”

Related: “Don’t Say Gay” bill ensnares Florida companies

Florida Rep. Michele Rayner, the only lesbian in the Florida Legislature, tweeted: “Chrissy, this trope is tired and lacks originality. 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.”

Florida Sen. Shevrin Jones, Florida’s first out state senator, said: “Human decency & respect for those who may see things differently than you should be a basic human quality,” he tweeted. “But, calling Dem AND Rep who support basic human rights for LGBTQ youth ‘groomers’ aka pedophiles, is a new low Christina Pushaw, and as a spox, you SHOULD know better.”

Here’s what others are saying: