Celebrity

George Takei and Ariana Grande lead stars condemning Florida’s ‘disgusting’ Don’t Say Gay bill

Nola Ojomu March 9, 2022
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Ariana Grande and George Takei react to Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill

Ariana Grande and George Takei react to Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill (Getty/Steve Granitz/Bruce Glikas)

After the Florida senate passed its ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, LGBT+ celebrities and allies have rallied against the cruel measure.

Celebrities including George Takei, Wilson Cruz, Johnny Weir, Ariana Grande and many more have condemned Florida’s state Senate after it passed the Parental Rights in Education Bill – widely known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.

Despite widespread condemnation, it only took six hours of debate before the Republican-controlled state legislature passed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill on Tuesday (8 March), in a 22 to 17 vote. Two Republican state senators joined Democrats in voting against the bill.

As the news of the vote broke, many shared their shock and disappointment on social media.

Star Trek icon George Takei spoke out on Twitter as he wrote: “A Florida lawmaker got up to say that ‘gay’ isn’t permanent.

“I’m not sure what she meant by that, since I’ve been gay for more than 84 years, but many of nature’s most beautiful creations, from rainbows to bursts of flower blossoms, don’t last forever. Just long enough to wow.”

 

Star Trek: Discovery star Wilson Cruz shared a video of himself shortly the bill was passed as he spent time at the memorial for the Pulse nightclub massacre, which saw 49 people killed and 53 wounded in a mass shooting in June 2016.

“It occurs to both of us that this memorial wouldn’t be necessary – the murders that happened here almost six years ago would not have happened – if we educated our children more, if we educated our population more about LGBT+ issues and issues for people of colour and civil rights in this country,” he explained to the camera.

“And yet, we find ourselves today in a state which a legislature is denying this entire state’s children of its history and we cause harm to kids and how they see themselves and how communities see them.”

Cruz continued: “And some people even extrapolate that for the need of violence. So we sit here in Florida today looking at this memorial remembering the people that we lost but also wondering how we stop this from happening again. I’ll tell you what this bill isn’t going to help it.”

Ariana Grande said the decision was “really disgusting” before sharing a link to a petition calling for the bill to be stopped.

Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir wrote: “I knew I was gay when I was 6 and would have greatly appreciated more representation, acceptance & education while I was growing up.

“To all the kids in Florida, there is a vast community here to help, who loves you just the way you are & who will answer any questions you have🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️”.

Actor Sean Astin called the bill an “obvious and clumsy partisan political effort”.

 

Elsewhere, The View panellist Whoopi Goldberg said the bill is “shaming” LGBTQ children and “punishing” teachers who want to help them.

“It’s not solving anything, but what it is doing is creating a veil of shame that already existed in a journey that’s been fought for years for people to be their authentic selves,” co-host Sara Haines added.

Haines continued: “And now you’re taking away schools. Teachers are first-responders for kids, they’re the first-responders for anything going on … There are people that are so violently unhinged and ignorant that this can be a problem for some people.

“You can’t take teachers away from these kids because when they are obligated to then out their own children, this is, again, a journey we have not finished yet.”

 

Haines told the co-hosts that her gay brother began to “feel different” around the age of five and could have been in a situation where a teacher was obligated to “betray him.”

Goldberg then brought up children with same-sex parents who, she pointed out, may not be able to talk about their home lives with their peers.

“I don’t understand the point,” Goldberg continued. “I don’t understand making kids’ lives harder than they need to be … Life’s too short for us to do this to the kids. It’s too short to do it to anybody, but it’s too short to do it to the kids.”

“The cruelty is the point, I think, and we hear it all the time,” co-host Sunny Hostin added. “It’s to shame families, it’s to shame children and we could see this coming, I think. When you start banning books, when you start banning history in the classroom, what is the next step?”

The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill will now head to the desk of Florida’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it into law.

Just last week, DeSantis asked at a press conference: “How many parents want their kindergarteners to have transgenderism or something injected into classroom discussion?”

If signed into law, the bill would ban “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students”.

More: Ariana Grande, don't say gay bill, Florida, george takei, The View

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