‘All But Disqualifying’: Ron DeSantis Denounced After Latest Major Stumble

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Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis is facing renewed criticism after refusing to bluntly say in a newly published interview how he’d react if a child of his came out as gay or transgender. “Well, my children are my children,” he said. “We’ll leave that — we’ll leave that between my wife and I.”

DeSantis has targeted LGBTQ+ Floridians with measures like even a bathroom ban, meaning a block on transgender individuals using the restrooms that align with their gender identities in many public settings. “This is all but disqualifying, not just as a presidential candidate, but as a human being,” Florida journalist Peter Schorsch remarked of the governor’s controversial remarks. “You just say you will love your child. Period. Shame on @RonDeSantis.”

DeSantis has also led the high-profile legal charge nicknamed “Don’t Say Gay” by opponents. Republicans in the state legislature working with his administration have broadly blocked discussions in public school classrooms in the state of sexual orientation and gender identity, and relatedly, there has recently been confusion over whether the Advanced Placement (AP) course in psychology ordinarily available to high school students would even be offered in its entirety because of included content covering sexual orientation and gender identity. Both those areas are foundational concepts in the study of psychology that experts have noted any student pursuing further education or a career in the field will encounter.

Carlos Guillermo Smith, a former state legislator in Florida who lost his race for re-election last year, also commented on DeSantis declining to even say he’d love his child no matter what, which some might consider an easy opportunity to build the kind of personal bona fides that matter critically as a politician. “Strong family values means loving your child UNCONDITIONALLY without being afraid to say it,” Smith said.

DeSantis has even led a crusade to essentially antagonize Disney, at least as far as he can affect the company through its presence in the Orlando area. Disney has sued state authorities as those in charge have tried to, among other punitive responses, upend the company’s previously established system of partial self-governance around its park.