(Tuesday, May 23, 2023) GLAAD and Equality Florida released the LGBTQ record of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, an ongoing documentation of DeSantis' policies and rhetoric targeting LGBTQ people and issues.
Read the DeSantis LGBTQ record on the GLAAD Accountability Project: www.glaad.org/gap/ron-desantis .
DeSantis has reportedly chosen to announce his campaign for president with Twitter CEO Elon Musk, whose growing record of targeting transgender people includes removing protections for transgender users from Twitter's hateful conduct policy, spreading and encouraging disinformation, and suggesting criminalizing doctors for following mainstream medical care supported by every major medical association.
Statement from GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis on Twitter and here:
"Media covering Gov. DeSantis must inform voters by including his ongoing record of discrimination, harmful legislation, vile rhetoric and economic failure in his relentless campaign against LGBTQ people and all Floridians from marginalized backgrounds. The DeSantis record shows Florida is less safe, less free, and less prosperous, and is now best known for book bans, censorship, abortion bans, costly attacks against corporations' free speech as well as academic freedom, and the stripping of parental rights. Media must challenge inaccurate slogans like 'the free state of Florida' when the governor's record shows he moved to eliminate essential freedoms with his anti-people, anti-business, anti-democracy agenda."
Statement from Nadine Smith, Executive Director, Equality Florida:
"The damage that DeSantis has done to Florida's reputation will outlast his political career. His war on freedom and civil liberties is weighing heavily on the people of our state, forcing families to make tough decisions about whether to continue raising their children in Florida, educators to question remaining in the profession, and top talent to cross the state's colleges and universities off the list. Equality Florida stands steadfast on the frontlines, resolute in our commitment to create an inclusive and secure Florida that embraces and safeguards the rights of all residents. Florida is the frontline but this is a national battle for freedom."
The DeSantis record shows dozens of attacks in policy and rhetoric against LGBTQ people during his time as governor, including anti-Black, anti-Latine, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-women, anti-free speech, anti-academic freedom, anti-business efforts such as:
Enacting "Don't Say LGBTQ" laws that censor free speech in classrooms, banning discussion of LGBTQ people, families, and history for students K-12
Refusing to act after his press secretary falsely accused LGBTQ people and allies of being "groomers" - igniting a 406% increase in the smear across extremist media
Spreading disinformation about transgender people and health care that is supported by every major medical association, including false, baseless and inflammatory claims about interventions that are not performed on children
Enacting laws criminalizing essential health care for transgender youth despite its support by every major medical association
Claimed to support parental rights. Signed a bill into law banning parents from making health care decisions for their transgender child, and allowing warrants helping non affirming parents take physical custody of a child receiving this best practice care
Demanding changes to an Advanced Placement African-American Studies course because it accurately included the history of queer Black people and other intersecting marginalized communities
Pursued private medical information of transgender college students
Supporting book bans and book banning anti-LGBTQ groups like Moms For Liberty, while falsely claiming that empty shelves where books were removed should not be considered a book ban
Targeting the free speech of corporations that speak out against discriminatory legislation, or have diversity and inclusion initiatives to protect LGBTQ employees and others from marginalized backgrounds
Threatening to build a state prison to retaliate against Disney, the state's largest employer; Disney has since withdrawn a project in Florida, costing the state an estimated 13,000 jobs and $17 billion in investments
Signing a bill into law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy
Making it easier for residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit
Enacting a law to make it difficult or impossible for transgender residents and visitors to access appropriate restrooms, domestic violence shelters, correctional institutions, or other spaces that match their gender
Enacting a law that would allow health care providers to discriminate against LGBTQ and other groups of patients
Signing a ban on transgender students' participating in school sports, on the first day of Pride, 2022 and further expanding restrictions in May 2023 in a state takeover of the Florida High School Athletic Association
An estimated 4.6% of Floridians are LGBTQ and 24% of LGBTQ people in Florida are raising children. 30% of LGBTQ people are Latinx/Latine, 12% are Black.
71% of LGBTQ and ally voters in Florida say the state's "Don't Say LGBTQ" law passed in 2022 was designed to attack LGBTQ people.
GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.
About Equality Florida:
Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. Through education, grassroots organizing, coalition building, and lobbying, we are changing Florida so that no one suffers harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.