During debate in the Florida Senate about the so-called "Don't Say Gay Bill" on Monday, state Republican Senator Dennis Baxley spoke so circuitously about the GOP's reasoning for the bill he completely contradicted himself and revealed their real rationale.
Undoing all of the claims by himself and his fellow Republicans the "Parental Rights in Education" bill in no way targeted LGBTQ+ kids or adults, Baxley revealed he brought the bill to the Senate because he is concerned by the trend of kids coming out during school, a change which has likely occurred because kids who are members of the LGBTQ+ community now feel safer revealing their identities to their peers than previous generations did.
During a speechthat took "hours" according to one CBS4 reporter, Baxley said:
"My son's a psychiatrist and I said, 'Why is everybody now all about coming out when you’re in school?' And there really is a dynamic of concern of how much of these are genuine […] experiences and how many of them are just kids trying on different kinds of things they hear about."
"So my question is, simply, are we encouraging this or eliminating it by putting emphasis on it?"
"There’s something wrong with how we’re emphasizing this, and all of a sudden overnight they’re a celebrity. […] I know parents are very concerned about the departure of the core belief systems and values."
Many on Twitter were incredulous at the thought kids don't already know LGBTQ+ people exist, or kids would come out just for clout.
Baxley also claimed teachers were "socially engineering" in their classrooms.
"I became concerned when people started sending me some curriculum guides that were being used in classrooms to explore these issues. I’m always very anxious when it looks like we’re moving away from educating and beginning to just socially engineer people as to how they’re supposed to think, feel and do."
Many chose to simply ridicule Baxley on Twitter.
The Florida legislature approved Baxley's bill.
GOP Governor DeSantis is expected to sign it into law.