Fleeing Florida

Republican Party Chairman Calls Parents Fleeing Florida “Perverted”

In response to the rising anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-Black sentiment in Florida, multiple human rights organizations (Equality Florida, the HRC, and the NAACP) have issued travel advisories over the state. And the way the GOP tells it, that’s a badge of honor.

In a statement to conservative outlet Washington Examiner, Christian Ziegler, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, referred to LGBTQ+ parents fleeing the state as “perverted.”

“Over 60% of voters support the actual language in the law, including 55% of Democrats,” Ziegler said. “With that said, if a Democrat Voter is passionate and perverted enough to support the sexualization of kids during school in grades as early as Kindergarten, then I would agree that Florida is probably not the best fit for them.”

Ziegler was responding to a recent study by the Williams Institute surveying parents’ responses to the state’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay” law. The survey found 40% of respondents expressed a desire to leave Florida, with 11% making concrete plans to do so within the next two years.

Ziegler’s claim that “55% of Democrats” favor the law is not supported by the survey, and he provided no other citation for it. In fact, the study found that two-thirds of Democrats and over half of Independents disagreed with the law. 80% of Democrat respondents opposed the extension of the law to middle and high school age groups.

Celebrity parents Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union recently spoke out about their own decision to leave Florida in order to carve out a better life for their trans daughter Zaya Wade. However, not all parents have the financial means to pick up and move. 9% of survey respondents expressed fear about their future living in Florida, but those who cannot relocate cited obstacles such as jobs, family, and logistical challenges.

It’s not particularly surprising that the GOP is applauding people disrupting their lives and desperately relocating their entire family. Nor is it surprising they would characterize any mention that LGBTQ+ people exist (to the point that Shakespeare has become contraband) as “sexualization.” It’s just another day of cruelty and despotism in the Sunshine State, and another Republican leader going mask-off to admit they like it that way.

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