Karine Jean-Pierre
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Ron DeSantis Mocks LGBTQ+ People in Campaign Mailer

Ron DeSantis

Florida’s Republican governor is continuing his assault on the LGBTQ+ community. This time, he’s using a campaign mailer to mock nonbinary people ahead of next week’s elections.

The campaign document uses slick disinformation about DeSantis’s Democratic opponent, Charlie Crist, including the claim that President Joe Biden’s student loan plan would force “hard-working Floridians to pay back student loans for degrees like Gender Studies and French Poetry.” 

HuffPost received the mailer from a person in Fort Lauderdale. The outlet reports that it shows a photo of Crist and Biden hugging with the text “The Biden-Crist College Loan Bailout will: Make inflation worse; Punish hard-working taxpayers; Reward universities.”

The flier also includes a photo of a nonbinary student wearing makeup and a graduation gown, with a cartoon bubble overhead that reads, “Thank you, Joe Biden and Charlie Crist, for making Floridians pay off my student debt.” HuffPost reports that the photo is a Getty Images stock photo.

The Advocate reviewed available Getty images and discovered that the photo is a series of graduation photos taken not in Florida but in Brazil.

"The queerphobia coming out of today’s Republican Party is so sad and disgusting," tweeted Florida Rep. Anna V. Eskamani with the images of the flier. "Their desperation to rebrand President Biden’s student loan debt reform efforts are also pathetic."

“That this ad and others like it are running in 2022, not 1970, tells us the kind of future envisioned by DeSantis and his right-wing cronies,” Brandon Wolf, press secretary for Equality Florida, told HuffPost.

“These extremists are hell-bent on returning us to the darkest days of anti-LGBTQ hysteria that fueled discrimination, bigotry, and violence against the community,” he continued. “The war they are waging against equality ― and LGBTQ Floridians ― is dangerous, cynical, and should be condemned by all who want to see a Florida that is more inclusive of and safe for all people.”

DeSantis signed the state’s notorious “don’t say gay” law that went into effect in September, and in this direction, the Florida Board of Medicine is set to rule Friday that despite all major medical associations’ objections, all gender-affirming treatment for minors would be forbidden in the Sunshine State.

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