White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed that Florida’s bill — banning classroom instruction about gender identity and sexual orientation for students in Pre-K through Grade 3 — was “a form of bullying.”
Psaki said Wednesday that the bill – nicknamed “Don’t Say Gay” by critics in spite of the fact that it does not ban any such thing — was “horrific” and would prevent children from getting support that they need.
Psaki on Florida's "gay" education bill: It "discriminate[s] against families, against kids put these kids in the position of not getting the support they need at a time where that's exactly what they need. It's discriminatory. It's a form of bullying. It is horrific." pic.twitter.com/3BbLaMHqvq
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) March 9, 2022
“The Florida bill that just passed restricting the speaking about — of homosexuality and gender identity up to third grade,” one reporter asked, noting that President Joe Biden had voted for a much more restrictive measure when he was in the Senate.
“In 1994 when many of us were in school, President Biden actually voted for a much broader restriction that banned federal funds from being used for, quote, ‘the promotion of homosexuality as a positive lifestyle alternative,'” he continued. “Why did he do that? And can you explain how his thinking has evolved over the years?”
Psaki began by saying that President Biden had often spoken “passionately” about his feelings on the subject.
“A bill like this, that would discriminate against families, against kids, put these kids in the position of not getting the support they need at a time where that’s exactly what they need. It’s discriminatory. It’s a form of bullying. It is horrific. I mean, the president has spoken to that.”
Psaki went on to say that Biden’s opinions and views from 25 years ago were less relevant than those of the elected leaders in Florida, whom she went on to accuse of acting out of “meanness” and a desire to make life more difficult for kids.
“I think the most important question now is why are Florida leaders deciding they need to discriminate against kids who are members of the LGBTQI community? What prompts them to do that? Is it meanness? Is it wanting to make kids have more difficult times in school and in their communities? I would pose that question to them and we can talk about it more tomorrow.”
Christina Pushaw, spokeswoman for Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), responded to Psaki’s comments, saying, “The word ‘gay’ does not appear in the parental rights bill. It has nothing to do with LGBT content specifically; it’s about protecting young children from ALL inappropriate sexual content and gender theory instruction. It is the sole right of the parents to discuss those topics.”
The bill passed the Florida Senate on Tuesday and is expected to get the signature of Governor DeSantis. DeSantis defended the bill in a heated exchange with a reporter several days earlier, as The Daily Wire reported:
“Does it say that in the bill?” DeSantis repeated the question.
“I’m asking —” Donovan protested, but DeSantis pushed back immediately.
“I’m asking you to tell me what’s in the bill, because you are pushing false narratives,” DeSantis continued. “It doesn’t matter what critics say.”
“It bans classroom instruction on sexual identity and gender orientation,” Donovan pressed.
“For who?” DeSantis asked. “For grades pre-k through three. So five year olds, six year olds, seven year olds — and the idea that you wouldn’t be honest about that and tell people what it actually says, it’s why people don’t trust people like you because you peddle false narratives.”