Consider some of the toxic rhetoric recently directed at the LGBTQ community locally and statewide
▶ At the podium of the Sarasota County Commission, fierce opposition was raised against county funding for ALSO Youth, a local nonprofit that works to support LGBTQ youth.
▶ In Venice, the vibrant yet peaceful Pride Festival has drawn visceral and over-the-top criticism from many quarters. Most of the angry voices did not attend the rally, even though they were responding to a few isolated social media footage if provocative. , displayed in the event.
▶ On the floor of the Florida legislature, Speaker of the House Paul Renner used the oath of office to deliver a dark warning about Florida kids being targeted for “indoctrination” in their classrooms, calling out “drag queen story time.” gave a deafening speech in a polarized tone that featured the reading of .
Renner’s use of the well-known anti-LGBTQ trope was particularly irritating for two reasons: a) His speech was set in the immediate aftermath of the deadly shooting at a queer nightclub in Colorado. and b) Renner had a long and illustrious career in the military, where he made great strides in embracing inclusivity and reversing the historically regressive treatment of LGBTQ members in the military.
▶ In Alachua County, school districts do not publish LGBTQ support guides for employees and students. The move comes after the Florida Department of Education put pressure on the school system to stop offering such guides.
Now let’s add another troubling element – Gov. Ron DeSantis’ sudden enthusiasm for “policing” drag queen shows has led some Pride Festival attendees to “throw bombs and harm jihadists.” There is nothing better than ideological terrorists,” says Venice City Councilor Dick Longo. and intimidate people. ”
Let all of that sink in for a moment.
Shouldn’t the 2023 version of Florida aim to be a better state than the one that allowed such shocking anti-LGBTQ hostility to spread and worsen in 2022?
We should feel a responsibility to do more to ensure that the “Florida Free State” does not become something that freely empowers those who seek to denigrate, marginalize and marginalize the LGBTQ community. Is it not?
If you actually believe that the proper answer to any of the above is “no”, then it may be time to ask yourself. this question:
– This editorial was written by Opinion Editor Roger Brown for the Herald Tribune Editorial Board.