Ron “Don’t Say Gay” DeSantis may wear heels himself, but the ultra-conservative wants everyone to know he stands firmly against drag. Earlier this year, DeSantis championed a law that bans children from attending drag shows.
And it’s been hung up in court ever since.
In recent days, DeSantis has suffered another “L” in his bigoted fight.
Back in June, a district judge ruled that Florida’s anti-drag bill was not “sufficiently narrowly tailored” to protect free speech. As a result, the judge issued a preliminary injunction that prevents the law from being enforced while it’s being appealed.
Florida lawyers challenged the ruling; however, an appeals court sided with Judge Gregory Presnell by a 2-1 margin. The court warned “there is a potential for extraordinary harm and a serious chill upon protected speech” if the edict is allowed to stay in place.
The drag ban is one of multiple anti-LGBTQ+ laws that DeSantis has supported in conjunction with his futile presidential run.
Since winning reelection, the flailing Florida governor has expanded “Don’t Say Gay” to include all grade levels, banned gender-affirming care for minors and made it a criminal offense for transgender people to use state-owned bathrooms that align with their gender identity.
He’s also pushed for a book ban that he’s now distancing himself from (a report from Florida’s Department of Education shows about 300 books have, in fact, been removed from schools since 2022).
It’s apparent that DeSantis, whose supporters produced a vehemently homophobic ad over the summer, thought attacking LGBTQ+ folx would pave the way for him to capture the Republican nomination. But that hasn’t been the case… at all.
His campaign is undergoing yet another reset, after dismissing staffers and burning through tens of millions of dollars. DeSantis is moving one-third of his remaining staffers to Iowa, where he’s also purchased $2 million in TV ads. That’s 40% of the campaign cash he reported having on-hand at the end of September.
But it’s unlikely all of that spending and reshuffling will produce much of a difference. Trump currently leads DeSantis in the Hawkeye State by a more than 30-point margin (50.5% to 17.4%).
While the gay-hating governor is getting beat up on the campaign trail, the same is happening in court. In addition to the unfavorable drag ruling, a court ordered Florida to release its COVID data for the first time in two years.
Deliciously, Florida’s first out gay Latino lawmaker, Carlos Guillermo Smith, filed the successful suit. (Smith first took office months after the Pulse nightclub shooting, and is now running for state senate.)
Overall, most of DeSantis’ greatest policy wins are collapsing in court… much like when the overwhelmed candidate faces pointed questioning.
A few months back, a 15-year-old named Quinn Mitchell asked DeSantis in a New Hampshire town hall whether Trump violated the peaceful transfer of power with his post-election antics.
DeSantis sidestepped the question, and Mitchell says his security team later mishandled and physically intimidated him. At a Fourth of July parade, Mitchell and other onlookers allege DeSantis’ security “swarmed” him and “physically restrained” him so he couldn’t get close to the candidate.
Well, Mitchell is back in the news this week. The aspiring journalist was ejected by police officers last Friday at a GOP event that DeSantis attended.
“They said, ‘We know who you are,’” Mitchell told the New York Times.
Republicans are afraid of anyone that challenges them.
— Doug Barry (@BaltimoreDoug) October 16, 2023
DeSantis is afraid of a 15 yr old? What a thin skinned narcissist!
— andy collins🇺🇸🇺🇦🖖🏻 (@andycollins10) October 16, 2023
Fascism in Florida
— ZackRulez🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ (@Zack_Hamell) October 16, 2023
The GOP has a really hard time outside their protected bubble. Their justifications are so weak that 15yo’s easily poke holes in them.
— Dan (@DMeyerhuber) October 16, 2023
Voters also know who DeSantis is, and at this point, it’s pretty clear they don’t like him. “Meatball Ron’s” losses keep stacking up, whether on the trail or in court.