Elected Democrat officials and LGBTQ activists in New York gathered at Chelsea Piers to protest Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ appearance at a conference in New York City on Sunday.
The event, which was hosted by Jewish organization Tikvah Fund, was protested by dozens of demonstrators who chanted phrases like “SHAME!” and held up signs like “Say Gay” and “Not during pride month,” as event attendees entered the Pier 60 facility on Sunday morning, the New York Post reported.
The protestors insisted that the Republican governor should not be allowed to speak at the event due to his anti-grooming law, which prohibits public school teachers from teaching children about gender identity and sexuality, from kindergarten through fourth grade.
The list of local politicians who attended the protest includes Democrat Rep. Carolyn Maloney, State Sen. Brad Hoylman, Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, and Lt. Gov. hopeful Ana María Archila.
Prior to the protest, New York City officials called on the venue to cancel DeSantis’ speech at the Jewish Leadership Conference over his passage of the anti-grooming bill, which Democrats refer to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, particularly due to the fact the event takes place during Pride Month and is located in a neighborhood central to the LGBTQ movement in New York City.
The Florida governor didn’t seem to mind the attention so much, bragging that the Democrats and woke progressives protesting outside cannot cancel him.
“They can’t cancel me, I’m gonna speak my mind,” said DeSantis in footage captured by a reporter for NY Jewish Week.
“You know I saw that there was a little bit of opposition to me coming here. All I can tell you is this: when the left is having a spasm that just tells you that Florida is winning on the issues that matter.”
“I’m never gonna let some protest deter me from coming to speak in front of a lot of Florida future voters in the state of Florida,” he joked.
In a separate part of his speech, DeSantis defended the anti-grooming bill, stating that, “every parent in the state of Florida has a right to send their kid to elementary school without having concepts like woke gender ideology jammed into their curriculum.”
“Parents have a right to have their kids go to school in the state of Florida without having the school do things like quote transition their kids’ gender to a different gender, giving them a different name, having them wear different clothes without the parents’ knowledge and consent,” he continued, stating that students should be focused on basic subjects like math, science, and history, not distracted by woke indoctrination.