Oscars broadcast mocks FL’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ legislation; DeSantis aide lashes back
Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill gained national attention again when three actresses during the Oscars Sunday chanted “gay” on stage in opposition to the measure, which awaits approval by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
That sparked a reaction Monday from a spokeswoman for DeSantis, who blasted the actresses for referencing the legislation that critics say would harm the LGBTQ community by prohibiting classroom discussions about gender identity and sexual orientation.
Wanda Sykes, who is openly gay and married to another woman, said: “We’re gonna have a great night tonight, and for you people in Florida, we’re gonna have a gay night.”
Sykes, Amy Schumer, and Regina Hall all began chanting “gay” as the crowd applauded. A video was posted on Twitter of the mockery.
Christina Pushaw said in an email Monday to the Florida Phoenix:
“As you know, there is no such bill called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ in Florida. The Parental Rights in Education bill does not ban the word ‘gay’ or mention LGBT issues at all. It’s about age-appropriate education for young children in public schools. I would suggest these actresses read the bill before commenting on it.”
DeSantis has signaled his support for the bill and has announced a news conference at the Classical Preparatory School in Spring Hill later Monday. The announcement didn’t disclose the topic, but news reports indicate he might sign the legislation.
The LGBTQ community and allies fear a chilling effect on discussions in public classrooms about that group for kindergarten through third grade and even in higher grades if deemed age-inappropriate to any parent, who would be allowed to sue school districts if they feel teachers have stepped over the line.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, a former Republican governor, issued a written statement denouncing the governor’s support of the legislation.
“Gov. DeSantis loves to boast that he’s made Florida the ‘freest state in America,’ yet today he will sign a heinous, hateful piece of legislation that silences teachers in their own classrooms and effectively harms millions of LGBTQ+ students, with nowhere else to turn for help,” said Crist, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate.