OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The current legislative session in Florida has come to an end for the year, with GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis touting a number of new measures aimed at further empowering parental choice.
Declaring the 2022 session “The Year of the Parent,” DeSantis responded to one reporter’s question by noting that “we want our kids to be kids.”
The Daily Wire notes:
The two-month session was marked with high-profile legislation, including a new bill passed in the Florida legislature that would ban the teaching of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.
DeSantis was asked by a reporter during the question-and-answer session how businesses would respond to the newly passed bill.
“People actually said that if you don’t have classroom instruction on sexual matters in grades K-3, that somehow businesses don’t want to be in Florida? I think people need to get out of their bubble and actually talk to parents,” DeSantis said. “Because they do not want this in kindergarten, in first grade or second grade.
“We want our kids to be kids,” he declared.
GOV. DESANTIS: “People actually said that if you don’t have classroom instruction on sexual matters in grades K-3, that somehow businesses don’t want to be in Florida? I think people need to get out of their bubble and actually talk to parents.” pic.twitter.com/rZKgYK9SBt
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 14, 2022
The Sunshine State governor also addressed the legislation during his own speech.
“As a parent of three kids that are age five and under, thank you for letting me and my wife send our kids to kindergarten without them being sexualized,” DeSantis said
“I think if you look at what’s been done, both in terms of funding and policy, this really was the year of the parent in the state of Florida,” the governor added.
In recent weeks, the bill gained notoriety thanks to national media coverage, with left-wing pundits dubbing it the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation.
Since then, DeSantis has regularly pushed back on that characterization, including during a viral exchange with a reporter last week. Reporter Evan Donovan shared a video of the exchange to Twitter, where he asked DeSantis if he supported the legislation.
After Donovan noted that critics have renamed it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, DeSantis went scorched earth.
“Does it say that that in the bill?” DeSantis asked, interrupting.
“I know that you support —” Donovan tried again.
“Does it say that in the bill?” DeSantis repeated the question.
“I’m asking —” Donovan protested, but DeSantis pushed back immediately.
“I’m asking you to tell me what’s in the bill, because you are pushing false narratives,” DeSantis continued. “It doesn’t matter what critics say.”
— Evan Donovan (@EvanDonovan) March 7, 2022
“It bans classroom instruction on sexual identity and gender orientation,” Donovan pressed.
“For who?” DeSantis asked. “For grades pre-k through three. So five-year-olds, six-year-olds, seven-year-olds — and the idea that you wouldn’t be honest about that and tell people what it actually says, it’s why people don’t trust people like you because you peddle false narratives.”
Several people began to clap and cheer as DeSantis continued, “So we disabuse you of those narratives — and we’re going to make sure that parents are able to send their kid to kindergarten without having some of this stuff injected into their school curriculum.”
Disney CEO Bob Chapek talked about the controversy surrounding the bill during a shareholder meeting last week, noting he expressed opposition to the legislation on behalf of the entertainment giant.
“While we have been strong supporters of the community for decades, I understand that many are upset that we did not speak out against the bill,” Chapek said, according to CNN.
“We were opposed to the bill from the outset, but we chose not to take a public position on it because we thought we could be more effective working behind the scenes engaging directly with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.”