Andy Cohen had some choice words for the Florida politicians who helped pass new legislation commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. At the end of Tuesday night’s “Watch What Happens Live,” Cohen called the bill “personally disturbing” and said that Florida Republicans are “pretending to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.”
The law forbids elementary school teachers from discussing gender or sexual orientation with schoolchildren up to third grade and is partly enforced by allowing parents to sue any school they believe violated it.
“There is not a mass conspiracy of kindergarten teachers who are plotting to teach children to be gay,” Cohen said. “This is one big dog whistle. You’re scaring people into spewing hate and discrimination at the LGBTQ community.”
He continued, “While the words ‘don’t say gay’ don’t explicitly appear in the bill, as a gay parent, I’m concerned that its deliberately vague language leaves room for it to be interpreted that way. Like, if my son went to school and talked about his gay dad during class and the teacher engaged, under your vague, hateful law, that can be considered illegal?”
He then took aim at those who have spread misinformation about the bill, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw, who recently suggested that the legislation was an “anti-grooming” bill. He also called out Florida Senator Ileana Garcia, who said that “being gay is not a permanent thing.”
“I thought the whole point of sending our kids to school was to educate them and prepare them for the real world. Well, newsflash, the real world has gay people in it,” Cohen said. “It has people of all different gender identities. You can draft all the homophobic and transphobic bills you want, you’re not going to erase us. I just wonder how many children and families need to suffer before our politicians figure that out.”
Gov. DeSantis has already signaled his support of the bill and is expected to sign it into law.