Writer Molly Ball spoke to DeSantis at the Iowa State Fair last weekend. DeSantis is pushing himself as a Presidential candidate who wants to protect the rights of parents. Ball asked him about parents who want to secure gender-affirming care for their trans kids. Florida has recently passed legislation that bars all gender-affirming care for minors.
DeSantis responded, “As a parent right now, I can’t take my six-year-old daughter and get her a tattoo, even if I want to do that.”
“You don’t have the right to do things that are going to be destructive to kids. I think that some of these parents are being told by physicians who are making a lot of money off this that you have to do this, otherwise your kid can end up doing something like commit suicide. I think that they get bullied into thinking this is the right decision.”
He added it is, “totally appropriate for us to say that protection of children means that those things are not appropriate.”
Ball then asks him directly how he would react if one of his children came out as gay or trans.
She said, “his eyes flash momentarily, and he swiftly shuts down the question.”
“Well, my children are my children,” DeSantis says. “We’ll leave that—we’ll leave that between my wife and I.”
Ron and Casey DeSantis married in 2009 and have three kids: Madison, Marnie and Mason.
Florida’s anti-LGBTQ+ legislation under Ron DeSantis
In the last 18 months, Florida has passed controversial legislation that has been widely denounced by LGBTQ+ organizations. Its Parental Rights In Education bill, commonly called the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, bars the discussion of LGBTQ+ issues across all school years.
It has barred trans girls from competing in sports aligning with their gender. It also barred drag shows in front of minors, although a federal judge currently has that ban on hold.
This slew of anti-queer legislation led to at least three Pride organizations in the state canceling events this summer.
Until recently, DeSantis was widely regarded as the second pick after Donald Trump for the GOP Presidential nomination. However, recent polls continue to put Trump around 40 points ahead of DeSantis. In a poll this week in New Hampshire, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie pulled ahead of DeSantis, polling at 9 percent against DeSantis’ 8 percent. Trump still led the pack, polling 49 percent.
Won’t somebody think of the children?