Ron DeSantis accuses ‘radical liberal parents’ of child abuse in latest anti-LGBTQ+ attack

Florida governor Ron DeSantis

Florida governor and 2024 presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis has reportedly accused “radical liberal parents” of child abuse in a fundraising email to supporters. 

According to Truthout, the DeSantis campaign criticised President Joe Biden in an email on Thursday (7 December) for saluting the LGBTQ+ Pride flag, and accused “radical liberal parents” of child abuse. 

He allegedly added that donating to his campaign would help him “save” queer and trans children from their families. 

The email came after the fourth Republican primary debate on Wednesday (6 December), with DeSantis using the debate to rail against gender-affirming care, describing trans healthcare as “child abuse”, and incorrectly claiming that puberty blockers are “irreversible”

“As a parent, you do not have the right to abuse your kids,” DeSantis said during the debate.

“This is cutting off their genitals, this is mutilating these minors, these are irreversible procedures, and this is something that other countries in Europe, like Sweden, once they started doing it, they saw it did incalculable damage, they’ve shut it down.”

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Ron DeSantis has introduced a number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills in Florida, including its notorious Don’t Say Gay law, a ban on trans people using the bathroom that matches their gender, and a ban on gender-affirming care for trans young people, leading LGBTQ+ groups have warned that the state may be dangerous for queer people. 

In May, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) warned the LGBTQ+ community not to visit Florida, explaining that it would “keep working hard” for Florida’s queer population to help the state “feel more like the home you deserve it to be”.  

“Since the day he took office, governor DeSantis has weaponised his position to weave bigotry, hate, and discrimination into public law for his own political gain,” HRC president Kelley Robinson said.

“We see it as our duty… to provide guidance to our community.”

A trans man from Florida, Avery Wade Kelley, told PinkNews in October that he is planning to leave the state altogether due to anti-LGBTQ+ laws, and that he had experienced trouble accessing his hormones due to the changes in law.

“We had to leave because of all this,” Kelley said.

“It was just too much stress added on to trying to pay bills, trying to have a relationship, to have the regular things that we go through as people. 

“I’m just a normal person. We are just normal. We pay rent, we pay off our car, we have cats, we’re just normal people trying to live normal lives.

“We had to leave everything we know just to feel safe.”

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