Gov. Ron DeSantis was asked a question about the so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill in Florida this week and lashed out at the reporter for phrasing it using the moniker. DeSantis complained that the bill says nothing about the gays, rather it says "homosexuals," and it's only about Kindergarteners through third grade who can't be told what the words mean.
"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver set the record straight, no pun intended, by saying that despite DeSantis' explanation of the bill, it actually gives parents the ability to sue teachers if they feel like something was told to them in a way that wasn't "age-appropriate." What does age-appropriate mean? It doesn't say.
Legislators tried to amend the legislation so it specifically said that teachers couldn't talk about human sexuality or sexual activity, so as to not target anyone or marginalize anyone. The GOP author of the bill said that if those changes were made, it would "significantly gut the bill's intent."
So, while parents probably don't want their Kindergartner being told about how two boys have sex, the reality is a Kindergarten teacher with a photo of him and his husband on his desk couldn't even tell a kid asking, "oh, that's my husband." The true "intent" of the bill is to marginalize and target LGBTQ+ people.
While this issue has been discussed nationally, the bill's author made it clear that the purpose of the legislation was to target LGBTQ+ people. Oliver showed a video of Florida state Sen. Dennis Baxley, a Republican, warning his constituents that there was an "infestation of homosexuals" in a nearby city.
But what bothered Oliver the most was that his "business daddy," AT&T, and his former company, Disney, were giving money to Republican lawmakers who support the legislation.
When it comes to AT&T, it might have something to do with the head of their legislative and government relations office being former Republican Rep. Ed Gillespie.
As for Disney, Oliver made it clear that as Zazu from "The Lion King," he is uniquely qualified to tell Disney CEO Bob Chapek that his excuses were "bullsh*t." According to Chapek, Disney gives contributions to the lawmakers before they cast votes and they can't predict how they'll behave.
"That is why people give to Feeding America, and not 'Feeding America or maybe take food away from America and put it in a big hole who really knows?'" said Oliver. "And Disney should have had a pretty good idea of how Dennis Baxley would vote when they gave him money, given that he's not been shy about sharing his views on a host of topics."
Oliver noted that before Disney gave money, Baxley said publicly that abortion was "causing Europeans to be replaced by immigrants and [is] paving the way for the end of Western civilization." As recently as 2020, Oliver noted that Baxley said that he supported repealing protections for LGBTQ workers and legalizing conversion therapy.
Even Walt Disney's granddaughter called out the response from Chapek.
See the Oliver opener below:
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver 3/13/22 FULL | HBO SHOW Mar 13, 2022 NEW EPISODE www.youtube.com