In a new interview for The Daily Show, President Joe Biden criticized the legislative push from Republicans targeting transgender minors, an effort that has found particular — although not exclusive — expression in Florida, which is presently led by GOP Governor Ron DeSantis and controlling Republican majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.
“What’s going on in Florida is, as my mother would say, close to sinful,” Biden remarked. “I mean, it’s just terrible what they’re doing. It’s not like a kid wakes up one morning and says, ‘You know? I decided I want to become a man’ or ‘I want to become a woman’ or ‘I want to change.’ I mean, what are they thinking about here? They’re human beings! They love, they have feelings, they have inclinations that are — it just to me is, it’s cruel. And the way we do it is we make sure we pass legislation like we passed on same-sex marriage. And you mess with that, you’re breaking the law and you’re going to be held accountable.”
Among the legislative proposals that have been made in Florida is a ban on what’s known as gender-affirming care for minors residing there, and although there’s obviously a difference between a proposal in the legislature and something the governor has actually signed, DeSantis has himself expressed support for the push against acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals, whether that’s in his criticism of the inclusion of what were termed queer studies in a proposed Advanced Placement (AP) course for high-schoolers covering the histories and experiences of Black Americans or his part in the suddenly expanding conservative crusade against drag, which while not the same as transgender identity is often associated with that kind of experience of life.
And then there’s also DeSantis’s bill nicknamed (not by its supporters) the “Don’t Say Gay” bill that imposed sweeping limits on discussing sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida classrooms.
How are students questioning their orientation or identity supposed to react to discussing their experiences being banned or restricted, depending on the grade and exact school context? Literally everyone experiences the same kind of development, even if for some, that course of life leads them on a path other than the familiar straight and cis experience. But for LGBTQ+ kids, DeSantis and Republicans want observers to take that as inherently sexual to a greater extent and a potential danger to minors? That’s not logically realistic and represents little more than targeting vulnerable people.
Check out Biden’s comments below: