Christina Pushaw, the press secretary for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), has come under fire after tweeting that anyone who opposes a bill banning schools from concealing students' sexual orientations from their parents and from teaching young children about sexual orientation and gender identity is "probably a groomer," Political Wire reports.
The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network defines "grooming" as "manipulative behaviors" that a sexual "abuser uses to gain access to a potential victim, coerce them to agree to the abuse, and reduce the risk of being caught."
"The bill that liberals inaccurately call 'Don't Say Gay' would be more accurately described as an Anti-Grooming Bill," Pushaw wrote on Twitter.
If you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4-8 year old children. Silence is complicity. This is how it works, Democrats, and I didn’t make the rules.— Christina Pushaw 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) March 4, 2022
"If you're against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don't denounce the grooming of 4-8 year-old children. Silence is complicity. This is how it works, Democrats, and I didn't make the rules," Pushaw wrote in a follow-up tweet.
Her use of the phrase "silence is complicity" appears to be ironic. Pushaw has trolled Democrats with the similar phrase "silence is violence" on numerous occasions.
The text of the bill stipulates that "[c]lassroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate."
Florida State Rep. Carlos G. Smith, who is gay, said Pushaw had "openly accused opponents" of the bill of being "PEDOPHILES." He described her comments as "disgusting" and "[b]igoted" and called for Pushaw's resignation.
#DeSantis’ spokesperson openly accused opponents of #DontSayGay of being ‘groomers’— aka PEDOPHILES. Bigoted attacks like this against LGBTQ people are the worst of the worst. They’re disgusting and dangerous and have NO PLACE in the Guv’s office. @ChristinaPushaw must resign. https://t.co/UAMjvIELBx pic.twitter.com/xbIXpmX5Eb— Rep. Carlos G Smith (@CarlosGSmith) March 6, 2022