With ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law, Gay Conservatives Find Their Inner Ernst Röhm

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tags: Florida, LGBTQ history

Ernst Röhm is one of the most pathetic, contemptible figures in LGBT history. The commander of the Nazi Stormtroopers and Hitler’s friend, Röhm was widely known to be gay, but still wielded considerable power within the Nazi hierarchy. That was until the Night of the Long Knives, when Hitler had him executed, which the party justified based on his sexuality as it cracked down on gays throughout Germany.

Röhm embodies a longstanding archetype in the LGBT world: the gay man who joins an anti-gay right-wing political movement for a taste of power, wealth and fame, oblivious to the whispers behind his back and mistaking phony politeness for tolerance or even acceptance. That same spirit exists today among gay conservatives in the US such as the Log Cabin Republicans. That’s not to say they’re comparable to Nazis – they’re not – but they share Röhm’s lack of self-respect and willingness to throw the whole LGBT community to the wolves because they foolishly think they have something to gain from aligning with people who hate them.

Few things exemplify that more than gay Republicans’ defense of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Bill, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law on March 28. In a March 14 column, David Leatherwood, head of Log Cabin’s Tampa, Florida, chapter, went so far as to call DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw a “gay icon.” What earned her a title usually reserved for the likes of Lady Gaga, Eartha Kitt and Joan Crawford was that she called it an “anti-grooming bill,” insinuating that opponents – which primarily means LGBT people – are pedophiles.

The “leftist gays stormed the Florida Capitol building” and were “demanding kindergartners have access to state-sanctioned lessons on pronoun propaganda and gay butt sex,” Leatherwood wrote in a dispatch from whatever alternate universe he inhabits, also referring to opponents of the bill as “groomers.” “Christina dropped a bomb that annihilated their entire phony narrative and put them all on defense.”

Leatherwood deliberately misrepresents what were actually peaceful protesters – many of them LGBT youth – not to mention the law and opponents’ concerns about it.

For starters, the sexually explicit material he vulgarly refers to is fictitious. The real concern is that the law would create a chilling effect by empowering parents to sue schools because a teacher mentioned a same-sex spouse or a student’s gay parents, while it also discourages LGBT students from seeking mental or physical health services as it could result in schools having to reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity to their parents. These concerns are hardly unfounded given the vague language in the law, which has already spawned imitators in other states.

Read entire article at Above the Law

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