September 28, 2022
A group representing LGBT Republicans is calling out the Biden administration over its singling out of Florida and its governor, Ron DeSantis (R), during a signing ceremony.

A group representing LGBT Republicans is calling out the Biden administration over its singling out of Florida and its governor, Ron DeSantis (R), during a signing ceremony.

President Joe Biden signed a wide-ranging executive order Wednesday following a ceremony inside the White House. While the order is federal, much of the ceremony’s rhetoric was aimed at Florida’s state-level Parental Rights in Education bill, and Biden was introduced by an activist who had organized protests against the bill.

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“It’s unfortunate that President Biden again used a podium at the White House this afternoon to mislead on and demonize the common sense parental rights law in Florida and other similar bills across the country that protect young children from woke lesson plans around gender and sexual identity,” reads a statement released by the Log Cabin Republicans.

“While some of the executive orders he announced today are long overdue, LGBT conservatives will not support the federal government trampling over the rights of states to stop Leftist activists from infusing more woke identity politics into kindergarten classrooms,” the statement continues.

Biden’s sweeping executive order aims to curtail the practice of so-called conversion therapy, prevent youth suicide, and allow the homeless to seek shelters consistent with their gender identity. The president also took credit for creating an “X” gender option on U.S. passports, among other actions.

Jill Biden spoke at the signing ceremony ahead of her husband, as did 18-year-old Florida activist Javier Gomez, who organized protests against the Florida bill.

Gomez credited his openly gay fifth grade teacher for helping him understand his identity and navigate the process of coming out.

“I fear other students in Florida and across the country will not be able to get the same support because of hateful legislation like the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill,” Gomez said. “But my presence here is a testament that we are fighting back.”

It was this statement, and the general emphasis on Florida, that irked Log Cabin Republicans President Charles Moran.

“They’re waxing on Ron DeSantis and the Florida parental rights bill, which they continue to misname,” said Moran. “It was somewhat comical that the high schooler they brought up there, who talked about his being in school in Florida and organizing those walkouts, that student isn’t even affected by the legislation.”

The bill only affects classroom instruction from kindergarten through third grade, meaning it would not be in effect for a high school or a fifth grade classroom. However, even at the third grade level, the bill only pertains to prescribed instruction in the classroom, not conversations between individual students and teachers.

“There’s a difference between conversations and curriculum,” Moran said. “Conversations are not prohibited.”

After taking the stage Wednesday, Joe Biden joked that Gomez would one day become president himself and accused DeSantis of “going after Mickey Mouse, for God’s sake.”

DeSantis has railed against what he calls “false narratives” around the parental rights bill, telling opponents to read the bill before passing judgment.

Attempts to reach DeSantis’s office for comment about the signing ceremony were not successful. DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw tweeted the next day that it’s possible to be empathetic while criticizing activists who have “overtaken our institutions.”

Moran praised some aspects of Joe Biden’s executive order, namely its moves against conversion therapy and greater investments in mental health initiatives. At the same time, his group also opposes the Equality Act, which Joe Biden is calling on Congress to pass, preferring the Fairness For All Act, which it says protects both LGBT people and fundamental religious freedoms.

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Moran holds that Joe Biden and Democrats are lashing out at DeSantis and pursuing misleading narratives because they see support slipping among the LGBT community, pointing to the fact that former President Donald Trump attracted one-third of the LGBT vote in 2020.

“The LGBT community has more freedom and opportunity now than at any time in American history,” he said. “The Democratic Party likes to put people in their boxes and remind them why they need to be victims because that keeps them united around that victimization. We’ve moved beyond that as an LGBT community. … It’s desperation, and they keep going back to it because they know they are losing.”

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