Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried launched her campaign for Governor on the first day of Pride Awareness Month, hours after Florida’s Governor signed a controversial anti-LGBTQ+ bill.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 1028, legislation banning transgender athletes from competing in female sports in the state. Days after the signing, Fried continues to criticize DeSantis’s decision.
The Commissioner addressed the legislation in a Saturday afternoon cable TV appearance, decrying it as “complete government intrusion and overreach.”
She expanded her critique to say that it was antithetical to Republican and conservative principles as she understood them.
“This was complete government intrusion and overreach. This was not something that we should ever have gotten involved in,” Fried said on MSNBC’s Alex Witt Reports.
“I was taught from an early age what the Republican Party was,” Fried contended. “My dad was a die-hard Republican. My mom is a die-hard Democrat.”
“I was always told that the Republican Party was about the free market. It’s about less government. Less government intrusion. Local government control instead of big government. Less taxes. This Governor and this Republican Party throw that completely up in the air.”
Fried also aimed at the photo op itself, attacking the Governor for signing the bill with one of his daughters sitting beside him at the table.
“He did it with his kids sitting right there. What is it telling the next generation when we are spewing hatred?”
After Tuesday’s bill signing, the Governor said the bill had nothing to do with hatred or a message to the LGBTQ+ community at the onset of Pride Month.
“First of all, it’s not me saying anything other than we’re going to protect fairness in women’s sports,” DeSantis said. “We believe that it’s important to have integrity in the competition. And we think it’s important that they be able to compete on a level playing field.”
The Governor’s position will be tested in at least one lawsuit.
The Human Rights Campaign says the legislation is built on “a false, discriminatory premise that puts the safety and well-being of transgender children on the line” and intends to challenge the legislation in court.