When Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the transgender sports ban into law, and when he gutted specific funding allotted for the LGBTQ community in Orlando, Florida as a result of the Pulse Nightclub shooting that occurred 5 years ago, little did Gov. DeSantis know that he would be accused of “erasing” the “identities” of gay people.
In an interview with WUCF TV, the PBS affiliate in Orlando, the flamboyant and ever-colorful Democratic State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith accused DeSantis of sending a cruel message to the gay community that he does not support them or their needs, and that “he’s erasing their identities and lived experience.”
“Cruelty is the point with Gov. Ron DeSantis. He’s sending a message to LGBTQ Floridians that he doesn’t care about their needs. He doesn’t see them. He doesn’t hear them. He’s erasing their identities and lived experience,” asserted Rep. Smith.
According to the interviewer, there was already money allocated in the state budget for mental health, but that funding is not enough for Smith, who says that the gay community in Orlando needs money specifically allocated to them.
DeSantis’ Florida Leads budget set aside more than “$137.6 million in funding for community-based services for adults and children with behavioral health needs (mental health), and includes $3 million to support 211 providers to support access to support services.”
But again, because there isn’t a funding line item specific to the Orlando-area gay community, Smith believes that gay mental health is being ignored.
Earlier this year, Rep. Smith was excoriated by Republicans, including Senator Marco Rubio, for his defense of Socialism. Smith questioned and scoffed at Republican State Rep. Tom Fabricio’s statement that Socialism has killed countless people around the world.
“Every single Florida Democrat should denounce these ill-informed comments. I know people personally — friends and neighbors — who have fled socialist regimes and have lost loved ones due to evil, corrupt socialist dictators,” said Sen. Rubio. ”Denying that socialism has taken the lives of countless people worldwide, is to say that the lives of those victims don’t matter,.”
— WUCF TV (@WUCFTV) June 7, 2021