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Psaki calls Florida bill 'horrific' and 'bullying' — but dodges question about Biden supporting similar policy
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Psaki calls Florida bill 'horrific' and 'bullying' — but dodges question about Biden supporting similar policy

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday condemned a Florida bill protecting the rights of Florida parents as "horrific" and "bullying."

At the same time, Psaki dodged questions about President Joe Biden's previous support of anti-LGBT legislation in the 1990s.

What happened?

During the daily press briefing, a reporter asked Psaki how a Senate bill amendment in 1994 — which Biden supported when he was a senator — is different than Florida HB 1557, a bill that protects parental rights in the classroom.

That bill amendment sought to "prohibit Federal funds for instructional materials, instruction, counseling, or other services on school grounds, from being used for the promotion of homosexuality as a positive lifestyle alternative."

The reporter asked, "Why did [Biden] do that?"

Psaki, however, completely dodged the question, and instead attacked Florida.

"I think that you have seen the president speak passionately on his view that a bill like this that would discriminate against families, against kids, put these kids in the position of not getting the support they need at a time where that’s exactly what they need. It’s discriminatory. It’s a form of bullying. It is horrific. I mean, the president has spoken to that," Psaki said.

"In terms of his views and comments from 25 years go, I think the most important question now is why are Florida leaders deciding they need to discriminate against kids who are members of the LGBTQI community? What prompts them to do that? Is it meanness? Is it wanting to make kids have more difficult times in school and in their communities?" she continued. "I would pose that question to them and we can talk about it more tomorrow.”

The reporter pressed further, but to no avail.

"Was there a reason he supported the same policy though in the ’90’s when we were all in school?" he asked

"I think what’s important to note here is how outspoken the president has been against discrimination, against kids, against members of the LGBTQI+ community and what we’re looking at here is a bill that would propagate misinformed hateful policies that impact children," Psaki deflected.

Christina Pushaw, spokeswoman for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), responded to Psaki's comments by correcting the record.

"The word 'gay' does not appear in the parental rights bill. It has nothing to do with LGBT content specifically; it's about protecting young children from ALL inappropriate sexual content and gender theory instruction. It is the sole right of the parents to discuss those topics," Pushaw said.

What is HB 1557?

The legislation, which passed the Florida Senate on Tuesday, is designed to bolster parents' rights in public education.

For example, the legislation reinforces the "fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding upbringing & control of their children," and also prohibits schools from adopting policies usurping parental rights to information about their children.

But Democrats are especially outraged by a provision in the bill that "prohibits classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels."

The text of the bill says:

Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.

Despite not using the word "gay" once in the bill, Democrats have crafted a genius PR campaign calling the legislation as the "Don't Say Gay bill." The claim has been repeated by politicians, media members and news outlets, and on social media without repercussions.

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Chris Enloe

Chris Enloe

Staff Writer

Chris Enloe is a staff writer for Blaze News
@chrisenloe →