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Video posted Wednesday appears to show the head of Equality Florida suggesting to Disney employees that lawmakers enacting legislation protecting the innocence of children are eventually trying to “criminalize” gay parents and “take your kids.”
“When we react to this,” Equality Florida Nadine Smith apparently tells Disney employees in a virtual meeting, according to a video posted by City Journal writer Chris Rufo, “a lot of us are reacting from the pain we experienced being isolated and stigmatized in school, but we are also reacting from the reality that when they can erase you, when they can criminalize your existence, when they can demonize who you are, the next step is to criminalize you and take your kids.”
“And we are already seeing that in Texas,” added Smith, who has repeatedly worked with Disney as the company responded to Florida’s HB 1557, a bill banning classroom discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Equality Florida executive director describes a “slippery slope” in the video, saying that “ugly messages emanating from legislative leaders in our state” are then “amplified by our governor whose spokesperson immediately began calling everyone who opposed this bill ‘groomers’ aka pedophiles.'”
Smith did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Wire.
Christina Pushaw, the governor’s spokesperson whom Smith referred to, tweeted in response to Smith: “They’re just mad that their grift is coming to an end!!!”
SCOOP: Disney's activism partner Nadine Smith of Equality Florida tells LGBTQ employees that @GovRonDeSantis and @ChristinaPushaw want to "erase you, "criminalize your existence," and "take your kids"—a wild conspiracy theory that Republicans want to kidnap gay people's children. pic.twitter.com/Ger3a2xekI
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) March 29, 2022
Florida’s HB 1447 states that “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
The bill has been wildly misrepresented as “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, though nowhere in the legislation is the word “gay” mentioned. The word “parent” is mentioned 32 times, the word “parental” is mentioned eight times, and the legislation heavily focuses on parental notification and parental awareness of what children are being taught or exposed to in school.
DeSantis said Monday that parents have a “fundamental” role in the education, upbringing, and healthcare of their children, insisting that he will never cave to pressure from outside groups like Disney.
Leftist activists know that Americans overwhelmingly oppose indoctrinating children with sexual or gender ideology, DeSantis said, pointing to polling from outlets like The Daily Wire and Politico showing that most Americans don’t want gender identity being taught in schools.
“Someone told me that there’s even people in Hollywood that are opposed to providing protections for parents and enforcing parents rights,” he added. “The one thing I’ll say about that: the people who held up degenerates like Harvey Weinstein as exemplars, if those are the types of people opposing us on parents rights, I wear that like a badge of honor.”