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The View in Review

The View Hosts Slam Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' Bill: 'This is Not Necessary'

"What message does this send to gay children and their parents?" asked Joy Behar.
  • The women of The View stood united against Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill this morning. (Photos: ABC)
    The women of The View stood united against Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill this morning. (Photos: ABC)

    The women of The View came together Wednesday morning to criticize Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill, which would prohibit the discussion of sexual orientation and gender in primary schools. All five co-hosts, including conservative guest panelist Alyssa Farah Griffin, called out Gov. Ron DeSantis for backing the bill, which they blasted as "not necessary" and harmful. As Joy Behar put it, "What message does this send to gay children and their parents?"

    On Monday, DeSantis voiced his support for the "Don't Say Gay" bill and tied it to the GOP's pet issue of parental rights in schools. "The larger issue with all of this is parents must have a seat at the table when it comes to what's going on in their schools," he said, adding that it's "entirely inappropriate" for teachers to discuss gender identity with children.

    Ana Navarro, a Florida resident, was the first co-host to condemn DeSantis' remarks. "First, I think this is not a necessary bill. First graders are not having a curriculum that teaches sexuality," she said. "I also think that the message it sends is a very chilling one for LGBTQ families. The Republican Party is the party of family values, and I don't know what it means when a kid has two dads or two moms — the message is, you are not welcome here."

    Guest co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin, who married and changed her name since she last appeared on The View in the fall, agreed with Navarro. "I don't think this is necessary. Like, how widespread of an issue is this that we need this as a policy coming down from the state?" said the ex-Trump official. She added that discussions about gender identity and sexuality "might fit better into sex education, which happens later" than primary school, but admitted that regardless of when they occur, "these conversations absolutely need to be had."

    For her part, Sunny Hostin took aim at "the rubric of parental rights legislation" that the GOP has pushed in recent months. "It started with CRT. Let's remember that — and those are anti-history laws, anti-Black history laws, really," she said. "If you start coming after Black people, what comes next, right? Of course the LGBTQ+ community, and then women, and then other marginalized groups. So, I'm surprised that parents just sort of jumped on the bandwagon of this [and] didn't realize that this is where it naturally leads. We've seen this so many times in our country and in history globally."

    Towards the end of the segment, Navarro offered an emotional anecdote about a friend who benefitted from having the kinds of discussions that the bill prohibits. "I have a friend whose father used to be a state legislator, a state senator in Florida for about 20 years. My friend was gay. His father was very homophobic and would beat him up," said Navarro. "And so if a little kid, if a five-year-old, six-year-old, says, 'I don't know how I'm feeling,' and goes and talks to the teacher, the teacher is now compelled to tell the parent. If not, they are liable. And not every home is a Cleaver home. Not every home is a safe haven for children."

    Elsewhere on The View... Griffin decried the lack of civility in Congress during a discussion about Rep. Hal Rogers poking and insulting Rep. Joyce Beatty for asking him to put on a mask. "I worked on Capitol Hill for the better portion of 10 years, and I don't even recognize Congress as it is today," said the former Trump communications director. "This is just further evidence of the degradation of Congress."

    People run to become influencers, to get their cable news gigs afterward, they Twitter battle all day rather than legislating," she continued. "This has become the norm in Congress, that you just attack your fellow man or woman, and if they're on the other side of the aisle, they are your enemy. It's terrible."

    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: The View, ABC, Alyssa Farah Griffin, Ana Navarro, Joy Behar, Ron DeSantis, Sara Haines, Sunny Hostin, politics