Florida Republicans Turn to Capitol Rioter Brandon Straka to Sell Their ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

When more angry Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” Bill continued, proponents of impending legislation that would limit classroom discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity turned to an interesting ally to argue their case: someone with pro-Trump influence, who took part in the Capitol riots.

On Monday night, several Florida officials will participate in a Twitter Space town hall hosted by Brandon Straka, who was sentenced to three years of probation in January after admitting in a plea agreement to taking a shield from a US Capitol Police officer. The event — titled “Don’t Say ‘Don’t Say Gay’” and run by Straka’s “Operation #WalkAway” — will feature the state’s Republican House of Representatives. Joe Harding and John Snyder, several conservative LGBTQ experts and Governor Ron DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw, whoseRecently ome is getting angry because of her anti-LGTBQ rhetoric.

“Every Republican is being hurt nationally by the latest leftist crisis. Why? Because they’re entering the brutal midterms,” ​​Straka wrote in a tweet Monday promoting the 8:30 p.m. event. “This affects every Republican — so be there tonight!”

Now, some lawmakers and residents are outraged to learn that the latest attempt to market the upcoming law features a far-right influencer and self-proclaimed “former liberal” who is known most at the start of “#WalkAway,” an online campaign calling for liberal voters to leave the Democratic Party.

“A activist joined by a group of MAGA trolls and GOP legislators is not an ‘honest discussion’ – it is useless anti-LGBTQ propaganda,” said State Representative. Democrat Carlos Smith, the state’s first LGBTQ lawmaker who has voiced criticism of the bill, said in a statement to The Daily Beast, “This desperate attempt to control damage followed public outcry against DeSantis about ‘Don’t Say Gay’ won’t work.”

Democratic State Representative Anna Eskamani added on Twitter Sunday night: “The disinformation campaign is in full swing. That’s the only thing the Governor’s team can do to try to blunt the backlash. “

The events come amid outrage over SB 1834, a bill passed last week that would ban “school personnel or third parties from giving classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity” in schools. kindergarten through third grade in Florida. The bill, signed by DeSantis this month, also prohibits any teaching “in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for the student.”

Most importantly, however, the measure would require school districts to notify parents if there is a change in the “mental, emotional, or physical health or health of their child and the ability of the school to provide provide a safe and supportive learning environment for students. Simply put, schools would be prohibited from “encouraging students to withhold” information from their parents — something advocates say could force young people to reveal their sexual orientation or identity their gender identity, even at their own risk.

LGBTQ advocates — and even President Joe Biden—Broken down the act for its “hate-making” implications and the unprecedented power it gives parents to sue schools for alleged violations. Since it passed, At least a dozen schools have organized walkouts protest. It has also inspired other states, like Georgia, to try to pass similar laws that only harm already marginalized communities.

Brandon Wolf, a survivor of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting and an Equality Florida activist, noted to The Daily Beast that the bill is “based on the hateful premise that LGBTQ people, only simply exist, pose a threat to our children and communities that must be eradicated to limit the number of people who feel comfortable being themselves. ”

“This bill is a danger to LGBTQ students and youth in the state,” Democratic State Senator Annette Taddeo added to The Daily Beast. “And none of the topics on the bill were even taught in those classes. There is no example of any teacher or any classroom where this has happened.”

Taddeo, a running candidate, said she was “not surprised” at town hall Monday night because it not only reflected DeSantis’ political rhetoric but could be used to appease his base. for a “future presidential run”. (DeSantis’ press secretary told The Daily Beast on Monday that DeSantis is “running for re-election for Governor, not president.”)

“It is very clear that the governor has a press secretary there for a reason. Taddeo said: “This bill is a nightmare – but I’m not surprised in the slightest that any of this is happening because this is all about his future political ambitions. “

DeSantis’ press secretary, Christina Pushaw, has faced backlash for sharing deeply offensive comments about people who don’t support the bill — including a tweet stating that any who opposes this measure “could be a groomer.” As previously reported by The Daily Beast, Pushaw also raised eyebrows in November after appearing to promote an anti-conspiracy theory. Then, when pressed, she backtracked on the claim by saying that it was others who were promoting the conspiracy theories.

Pushaw Written in a tweet March 4. “If you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you’re probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4-8 year olds. Silence is complicity. This is how it works, Democrats, and I didn’t make the rules. ”

Pushaw defended his decision to participate in Monday night’s event and its host, telling The Daily Beast that Straka’s “view on the parental rights bill as a gay conservative ( and of many other gay conservatives) has been ignored by the mainstream media. ”

“I don’t believe people should stay out of public life indefinitely because of their worst mistake, in Brandon’s case the misdemeanor of standing on the steps of the Capitol for eight minutes,” she added. (In his plea agreement, Straka admitted he had filmed himself at the riot, prompting a crowd to snatch a riot shield from a police officer – shouting “Take it! Take it! ”—and urged the MAGA mob to break into the building while Biden’s election certification was in progress.)

Pushaw also pointed to a Twitter thread on Monday by Straka in response to Smith’s allegations, in which he insisted he was “not an insurgent” for pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges related to the Capitol riots.

When asked if DeSantis was aware of her participation in Monday’s event, Pushaw said she was “not sure” because “that’s not what I’m doing during work hours.” “I will just talk about media coverage of the bill and the types of questions our office receives and how the corporate media used the wrong framing from a progressive activist group to describe the project. law,” she added.

But for some Florida legislators, like Taddeo, The idea that the GOP members who pushed for the bill would now promote it alongside Straka and other conservative LGBTQ professionals is perhaps “the most expansive look at the state of affairs in the state.”

“It seems that some legislators just passed legislation to obey the Governor’s good will,” Taddeo noted. Republican delegates Joe Harding and John Snyder did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/florida-republicans-turns-to-capitol-rioter-brandon-straka-to-sell-their-dont-say-gay-bill?source=articles&via=rss Florida Republicans Turn to Capitol Rioter Brandon Straka to Sell Their ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: russellfalcon@interreviewed.com.

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