Karine Jean-Pierre
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Gay Republicans Call DeSantis Press Sec. 'Gay Icon' After Homophobia

Pushaw and Leatherwood

In a piece appearing on the Log Cabin Republicans' blog Outspoken, one of its writers wrote that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s press secretary is actually a gay icon following her comments that opponents of Florida’s recently passed “don’t say gay” bill are “groomers.”

“Christina Pushaw — serving as Press Secretary for America’s favorite Governor, Daddy DeSantis, Pushaw has cemented herself as a gay icon overnight and we are here for all of it,” David Leatherwood writes in the blog post.

“Earlier this week, leftist gays stormed the Florida Capitol building in the Gay Insurrection of 2022. They were protesting the Parental Rights in Education Bill (branded the 'Don’t Say Gay' bill by lying Democrats) and demanding kindergartners have access to state-sanctioned lessons on pronoun propaganda and gay butt sex. Christina dropped a bomb that annihilated their entire phony narrative and put them all on defense. She called them what they are: groomers,” he adds.

On March 6, Pushaw wrote on Twitter, “The bill that liberals inaccurately call 'Don’t Say Gay' would be more accurately described as an Anti-Grooming Bill.”

She added, “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.”

Her comments were a wild mischaracterization of the bill, which would prohibit educators in Florida from discussing issues of sexual orientation and gender identity through third grade and require discussion of those topics with students at any level to be “age-appropriate,” a vague definition.

The bill has passed both Florida's House and Senate and is waiting for DeSantis's signature.

Since the post, lawmakers and LGBTQ+ advocates have called for Pushaw’s resignation.

Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, the only out gay man serving right now in the Florida House, responded with anger at the insinuation from the governor’s office that any acknowledgment of queer people should be considered grooming. He called for Pushaw’s resignation over the tweet.

“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. [Christina Pushaw] must resign.”

Smith then shared a description of grooming, which is a predatory process of gaining the trust of a potential victim, usually a child, before sexually abusing them.

At the time of Pushaw’s tweet, LGBTQ+ rights group Equality Florida released a statement condemning her post.

Equality Florida also released a statement about the outwardly homophobic messaging coming out of the governor’s office.

“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,” the statement read. “He [DeSantis] chose Pushaw to speak his mind to the public. He owns this unbridled hatred. This same bigoted insinuation has long 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.”

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