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The WaPo column accuses DeSantis of ‘arming’ protective services after he clashed with children at drag shows


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A Washington Post opinion piece ripped Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for his vociferous opposition to children attending drag shows after the video of the show “Drag Your Kids to Pride” in Texas became viral last week, accusing him of “weaponizing” child protective services for “political gain.”

Fresh out of advocacy for parental rights in education, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has a new cause: to use state power to harass parents who see drag shows as family entertainment. , wrote columnist Alyssa Rosenberg.

Rosenberg noted DeSantis’ complaints that children shouldn’t be exposed to drag performances, citing his quotes that “we have child protection laws on the books” and “we might have the ability to do facing something like this” before accusing other conservatives of weaponizing similar issues – including medical interventions for “transgender children”.

“We should name this vile trend for what it is: the exploitation of children for political purposes,” she added.

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U.S. Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, U.S., February 24, 2022.
(Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

Rosenberg went on to discuss the devastating impact that CPS investigations can have on families, calling the process “invasive” and “disruptive” and saying that asking parents to stand up for their integrity even if allegations of neglect against them is groundless and asking children to “defend the way they were raised” can be tedious.

“The consequences of turning an important, high-stakes tool for ensuring children’s well-being into an instrument of culture warfare are almost too horrific to contemplate,” she said in the article.

The article also alleged that DeSantis’ rhetoric invoking Protective Services may lead people to weaponize these measures against others as a form of “abuse or persecution.”

The WaPo column accuses DeSantis of ‘arming’ protective services after he clashed with children at drag shows

Drag queens Athena Kills (C) and Scalene Onixxx arrive at the adults and kids waiting for Drag Queen Story Hour at Cellar Door Books in Riverside, California on June 22, 2019.
((Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images))

“The only way to preserve the autonomy of all families is for the government to refrain from trying to cut through parenting decisions that are matters of personal taste and policy.

“Even conservative parents who regard drag performers with horror should be wary of rushing down this slippery slope,” she wrote, asking if the CPS should be called out to parents who allow their children to watch R-rated movies or exposing their children to pornography or white supremacy.

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“It’s one thing for a family to suffer a CPS ordeal because of someone else’s mistake or tragic misjudgment. But raising false moral panics about drag queens or caution covid – subjecting parents and children to investigation as a form of happy political point-scoring – is outrageous,” Rosenberg said.

Outrage ensued elsewhere after footage showed children walking down the runway and drag queens dancing in front of them as sexually suggestive signs flashed in the background at a gay nightclub in Dallas last week.

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Governor DeSantis is far from the only lawmaker enraged by the images, however. In Texas politics, State Rep. Bryan Slaton has pledged to introduce legislation that would ban children from attending drag shows, telling “Fox & Friends First” that “kids just need to be children” last Wednesday.


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