Republican Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado was criticized after she suggested opponents of Florida's controversial "Don't Say Gay" law should just "build your own Florida."
Florida’s Republican-sponsored Parental Rights in Education bill, or H.B. 1557, was recently signed into law by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. The law, colloquially known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, aims to “reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children in a specified manner.”
The law wants to prohibit “a school district from encouraging classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a specified manner” and authorizes parents to “bring an action against a school district to obtain a declaratory judgment that a school district procedure or practice violates certain provisions of law.”
But it seemed Boebert misunderstands what the law does.
Writing on Twitter, Boebert defended the law, claiming its opponents are against "laws protecting kids from doing irreversible damage to their bodies."
Boebert's claim that the law protects children from doing "irreversible damage to their bodies" appears to be more a response to an order issued by Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott in February requiring state agencies to open child-abuse investigations into families whose children receive gender-affirming procedures.
Abbott has defended the law, saying it "provides criminal penalties for failure to report such child abuse" and imposes reporting requirements upon any licensed professionals who may have direct contact with children.
Last year, Texas lawmakers made clear that they would consider legislation that would make providing gender-affirming care tantamount to child abuse.
A bill sponsored by State Senator Charles Perry, a Republican, would make “administering or supplying, or consenting to or assisting in the administering or supplying of” gender reassignment surgery or puberty blockers a criminal offense and violation of the state’s child protection laws.
Studies show transgender teens are more likely to be subjected to violence in high school and have higher rates of suicide. A recent study showed that transgender adults with access to puberty blockers as teens were less likely to have suicidal thoughts.
The study, published in Pediatrics, concluded that "those who received treatment with pubertal suppression, when compared with those who wanted pubertal suppression but did not receive it, had lower odds of lifetime suicidal ideation.
None of this, as discriminatory as it is, bears any similarity to the Florida law's aims.
Boebert was criticized almost immediately for both defending the Florida legislation and exhibiting such cluelessness.
Earlier this month, Boebert was mocked after her tweet suggesting she would work against any attempts by the Disney Corporation to "extend Micky Mouse’s trademark" backfired.
The Congresswoman misspelled the name of Disney's iconic mascot and appeared to not know the difference between trademarks and copyrights.
Boebert's tweet came after Disney announced it would work to help repeal the "Don't Say Gay" law. The act prompted Florida Republicans to retaliate by introducing legislation revoking the company's special tax district, which Governor Ron DeSantis quickly signed.