Log Cabin Republicans Criticize Chasten Buttigieg for Speaking Out Against Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' Bill

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday February 3, 2022

Right-wing group the Log Cabin Republicans, an organization representing LGBTQ+ conservatives, slammed Chasten Buttigieg for voicing his concerns about how a Florida measure critiqued as a "Don't Say Gay" bill would impact LGBTQ+ youth.

Slipping in gratuitous references to Chasten's husband Pete Buttigieg — a rising star among Democrats, the Biden administration's Secretary of Transportation, and, in 2016, the first openly gay candidate for the presidential nomination to be seen as a serious contender. The group called Secretary Buttigieg "unqualified," and painted the couple as being "so far to the Left that they're OK with Florida kindergarteners learning about gender fluidity and sexual preferences in the classroom."

As previously reported at EDGE, the bill bans classroom discussion around sexual and gender identity for elementary school children. Advocates fear that students with same-sex parents or LGBTQ+ family members will be silenced or marginalized if they ask about or mention topics relevant to sexual minorities and their experiences.

Advocates also worry that the proposed measure would force teachers to out LGBTQ+ children to their parents — a criticism that an amendment to the law seemingly seeks to address in cases where such "disclosure would result in abuse, abandonment, or neglect."

Another aspect of the bill has also sparked concerns: Local news channel WFLA reported that the proposed Florida measure weaponizes lawsuits against teachers and school officials by parents and "entitles the parents to potential monetary damages."

Calling Chasten's speaking out on social media and on television about his concerns "fear-mongering," the LCR declared, "You can be gay and also believe that parents have a right to control their young children's education, especially when it comes to sexual identity."

"Log Cabin Republicans won't stand by while the Left engages in dishonest attempts to smear conservatives as bigots, as Chasten is unfortunately trying to do here," the group said.

The LCR also took exception to Chasten referencing findings by The Trevor Project, an organization that combats LGBTQ+ youth suicide, that indicate 42% of youth who are non-cisgender and non-heterosexual "seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year."

Slamming Chasten's citation of that work as "false and hyperbolic rhetoric," the LCR stated that the classroom ban "will not silence gay people. It certainly will not kill them. All it does is reinforce the commonsense belief that teacher-led classroom discussions around sexual and gender identity do not belong in primary schools."

Chasten, who is a teacher himself, took to Twitter on Jan. 20 to decry the bill. Addressing his remarks to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Buttigieg posted, "This will kill kids."

The post added: "You are purposefully making your state a harder place for LGBTQ kids to survive in."

The post shared a video from Equality Florida in which another state lawmaker, Jon Harris Maurer, spoke against the measure, saying that "LGBTQ people are a normal, healthy part of our society...Conversations about us aren't something dangerous that should be banned. That's prejudicial, and it sends a terrible message to our young people, including LGBTQ young people, or young people who have LGBTQ parents."

Watch Chasten Buttigieg's comments to MSNBC on the issue, below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.