‘Screaming bigotry into a megaphone:’ DeSantis campaign video sparks outrage among LGBTQ+ community

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A new video released by Governor Ron DeSantis’ campaign is being decried by the LGBTQ+ community.


The video highlights statements made by former President Donald Trump supporting LGBTQ+ Americans and contrasts them with news excerpts critical of policies aimed at LGBTQ+ issues implemented by DeSantis.

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Equality Florida’s Senior Policy Advisor and former State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith argued DeSantis is now saying the quiet part out loud.

“Ron DeSantis has stopped gaslighting us and now he’s just screaming bigotry into a megaphone,” Smith said.

Anthony Verdugo with the Florida Christian Family Coalition saw the video as an attempt by the DeSantis campaign to outflank the former President from the right.

“The DeSantis campaign is trying to establish and build an identity separate and apart from Trump and the rest of the Republican field and I think that’s where they were trying to head with this message but it didn’t work,” Verdugo said.

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The video comes as LGBTQ+ advocates have scored three recent court victories challenging the state’s prohibition on Medicaid paying for gender treatments, banning gender care for minors and a law that aimed to prevent children from attending drag shows.

Smith argued the court victories and DeSantis’ stagnating poll numbers signal he’s losing the culture wars.

“That makes Ron DeSantis a loser who has divided our state, wasted our time and squandered taxpayer money and resources, which doesn’t bode well for a Presidential campaign,” Smith said.

But Verdugo countered the race for the Presidency and the court battles are far from over.

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“These judges, what they’re doing is they’re politicizing the matter instead of truly looking at the Constitution and they’re ruling with an ideological bent. But again, all these decisions will be appealed, and I believe they’ll end up eventually at the United States Supreme Court,” Verdugo said.

Verdugo pointed to a recent conservative victory in the courts right here in Northeast Florida on LGBTQ+ issues.

St. Johns County Schools’ policy requiring bathroom use tied to biological sex was reinstated earlier this year after first being blocked by a lower court.

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Verdugo believes similar arguments will ultimately prevail as the other cases progress.

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