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DeSantis’ file towards LGBTQ folks is worse than Trump’s | Column – Tampa Bay Instances

A central component to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ overwhelmingly profitable reelection marketing campaign was a religious-based demonization of LGBTQ folks. Whereas no buddy of the homosexual neighborhood, former President Donald Trump by no means went down that path.

Throughout his time in workplace Trump carried out the insurance policies outlined within the Republican Celebration platform devoted to undermining fundamental LGBTQ protections. Trump appointed anti-LGBTQ judges at each stage of the judicial system and pledged to solely appoint Supreme Court docket judges who would reverse the legalization of same-sex marriage. He rescinded protections for transgender college students and workers, and tweeted a ban on transgender service members. The Trump administration argued in court docket that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 didn’t shield folks from discrimination on the premise of sexual orientation asserting that such discrimination was authorized. And, Trump opposed the Equality Act authorised within the Home, which might have assured important non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ folks.

William Felice
William Felice [ UNKNOWN | Photo: Courtesy ]

However Trump didn’t embark on a cultural and spiritual struggle in opposition to the LGBTQ neighborhood. He didn’t middle his political identification on opposition to folks with completely different genders and sexualities than his personal. He didn’t encourage or take part in hateful rhetoric directed at LGBTQ folks, together with the pernicious cost of homosexual academics “grooming” their college students to have interaction in sinful practices. Gov. Ron DeSantis has not solely finished all of this, however appears to thrive on mocking and belittling our neighborhood. Sadly, his assaults on LGBTQ folks bolstered his standing within the extremist Florida Republican Celebration and helped him win a landslide reelection. I consider {that a} President DeSantis would signify the best hazard LGBTQ folks have confronted in America in many years.

DeSantis’ file on LGBTQ points is alarming. DeSantis’s infamous Parental Rights in Schooling act, generally known as the “don’t say homosexual” regulation, went into impact this yr. As extensively famous, the regulation not solely forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identification in kindergarten by way of third grade, but in addition prohibits educating problems with gender or sexuality to youngsters the place it’s “developmentally inappropriate.”

This obscure language limiting classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identification has already had a chilling impact past grades Ok-3. Dad and mom have the proper now to file lawsuits in opposition to colleges perceived to violate these obscure insurance policies. Faculties might be topic to monetary penalties, together with legal professional charges. Fearing the implications of the regulation, colleges throughout the state have eliminated a number of books that includes LGBTQ characters. Homosexual academics concern mentioning the existence of their spouses. Satisfaction flags and occasions have been canceled. References to LGBTQ advocacy have been eradicated.

When Disney expressed assist for its LGBTQ staff and opposition to the “don’t say homosexual” invoice, DeSantis moved to take away its particular tax standing and talent to manipulate itself for the primary time in additional than half a century.

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DeSantis authorised a broad anti-LGBTQ coverage within the Florida Division of Schooling, which instructed state colleges to “ignore nondiscrimination steerage from the U.S. Division of Schooling and Division of Agriculture.” Florida faculty districts have been informed to disregard the brand new guidelines underneath Title IX that might lengthen sexual discrimination protections to college students primarily based on their gender identification or sexual orientation.

Below DeSantis, the Florida’s Company for Healthcare Administration proposed a ban on Medicaid protection for gender affirmation for trans and nonbinary youth.

DeSantis introduced again a 1947 regulation in opposition to cross dressing to revoke Miami’s R Home restaurant liquor license after a video surfaced of kids attending a drag brunch there.

DeSantis intervened in native faculty board elections throughout Florida to endorse six “Mothers for Liberty” candidates, all of whom gained their races. Mothers for Liberty is understood for manufacturing tradition wars over LGBTQ classroom supplies and the sexual “grooming” of kids.

DeSantis describes his actions as doing God’s work. Talking to the Conservative Political Motion Convention, DeSantis mentioned, “We’re going to guide the cost right here in Florida, however we’d like folks all around the nation prepared to placed on the total armor of God, to face agency in opposition to the left schemes.”

It’s exhausting to not evaluate DeSantis’ actions with Anita Bryant’s anti-LGBTQ marketing campaign in Dade County within the Nineteen Seventies. Bryant and her followers succeeded in overturning a county ordinance that granted homosexual folks housing and employment protections, which meant that academics couldn’t be fired due to their sexuality. The repeal marketing campaign centered on the classroom and the hazard of gay trainer “grooming” their younger college students to a “disgusting life-style.” The ethical panic of the Nineteen Seventies has returned to DeSantis’ Florida in 2022. As soon as once more, homosexuality is morally suspect, seen as harmful to youngsters, and subsequently shouldn’t be mentioned within the public colleges.

Anita Bryant succeeded in overturning the Dade County ordinance defending LGBTQ folks from discrimination. However this victory led to a nationwide backlash and mobilization for homosexual rights which in the end produced extraordinary progress for LGBTQ folks. Let’s hope that DeSantis’ profitable anti-LGBTQ program in Florida equally meets its demise as he takes his far-far-right platform nationally.

William F. Felice is professor emeritus of political science at Eckerd School He’s the writer of six books on human rights and worldwide relations. He might be reached through his web site at williamfelice.com.

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