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Florida Democrats to stage protest outside of Dave Rubin event with Ron DeSantis

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Florida Democrats are planning to protest an event featuring BlazeTV host Dave Rubin of "The Rubin Report" and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday evening in Orlando.

Democratic state lawmaker Rep. Anna Eskamani said Thursday that protesters will "hold the Governor accountable for his extreme agenda" in a tweet sharing details about the demonstration, including a meetup time and place of 6:45 p.m. ET at the public sidewalk outside of the event venue.

An event description for the protest on Facebook reads, "Once again Governor Ron DeSantis and his alt-right Bully Brigade are coming to Orlando. And we want to make sure he knows who we are in Orlando and that we oppose his extreme agenda."

"Join us outside The Plaza Live as we let him know: We’re WOKE, We Say Gay, Trans, Bi, Lesbian, and Queer, we believe Black Lives Matter, we support reproductive freedom and a person’s right to have an abortion, we demand sensible gun safety reforms, economic justice, and that he is not welcome in our community," the Orange County (FL) Democrats wrote.

"Bring your best signs and be ready to cause a little good trouble," the group added.

In a statement to TheBlaze, Rubin welcomed peaceful protesters but suggested their time might be better spent listening instead of demonstrating.

“Peacefully protesting is the cornerstone of living in a free society. I welcome protesters to exercise their free-speech rights as long as it doesn’t interfere with the event," Rubin said.

"Perhaps a better use of their time would be to actually attend the event and listen to what we had to say. They’d hear nothing close to hatred or bigotry, but would hear an awful lot about freedom and liberty here in the great state of Florida,” he added.

DeSantis, one of the most conservative Republican governors in the nation, has come under fire from the left for his support of Florida's Parental Rights in Education law. The statute prohibits classroom discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, restricting lessons on those topics to age and developmentally appropriate settings in higher grades.

Critics inaccurately called it the "Don't Say Gay" bill, and the mainstream media adopted that name for it, which led many to mistakenly believe the law sought to make it illegal to recognize the "existence" of LGBT people. This led to accusations that DeSantis is anti-gay, hateful, or otherwise bigoted against LGBT people.

During Thursday's event, the governor will be interviewed by Rubin, host of "The Rubin Report" on BlazeTV, as part of Rubin's book tour for "Don't Burn This Country," a book criticizing "woke" leftwing politics and calling for "Americans to live the freest life possible."

Eskamani criticized The Plaza Live for hosting the event last week, complaining that DeSantis is visiting "one of the most #LGBTQ+ friendly parts of Orlando and during Pride Month too."

"Orlandoans deserve better than this culture war B.S.," she wrote on Twitter.

Rubin, a married gay man, responded to Eskamani on Twitter, inviting her to the event as his guest. She replied that she would accept the invitation only if she "can be on stage and debate both you and DeSantis," but Rubin declined her request.

"I’m not giving you a second of that time," Rubin said. " I invited you to see what freedom, liberty and Florida are truly all about. I’ll gladly debate you at another venue in the future."

Eskamani instead will be protesting outside as Rubin interviews the governor.

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