Gov. DeSantis tackles gender identity at Moms for Liberty summit
Define 'woke.' Image via AP.

Ron DeSantis woke
The Moms for Liberty summit had the feel of a DeSantis campaign event.

Gov. Ron DeSantis dove into discussing trans children at the Moms for Liberty national conference in Tampa, a day after making controversial remarks about adults.

The comments came up as part of DeSantis’ point-by-point review of his administration’s policies on hot-button education issues.

“We also drew a line in the sand and said, ‘You know, in the state of Florida, a parent should be able to send their kid to kindergarten without having woke gender ideology shoved down their throat,” DeSantis said.

“We’re not going to have some first grader being told that, ‘Your parents named you Johnny, you were born a boy, but maybe you’re really a girl.’ That’s inappropriate to be doing in school.”

DeSantis used the issue of gender identity to set up attacks on two favorite targets, “woke corporations” and news media.

“As that was moving its way through the legislative process, some in the media didn’t like that,” DeSantis said. “Some in the business community, some companies you may have heard of, that didn’t like it.”

The not-so-subtle dig at Disney drew chuckles from the DeSantis-friendly crowd. He later went more directly at the House of Mouse. He accused people on the left of “subcontracting” their ideology to companies like Disney.

“A lot of people thought once Disney came out against it, that somehow that was going to kill the bill because Disney’s just too powerful within the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “Well, they bet wrong on that one.”

He said that sort of corporate pressure has been seen before with varying success in Georgia.

DeSantis added that Disney should know they don’t run the state of Florida, “we run the state of Florida. We’re not going to have our leadership subcontracted out to a corporation with close ties to the (Chinese Communist Party) that’s based in Burbank, California.

“Not on my watch.”

DeSantis was in Putnam County on Thursday when he opined against gender-inclusive language, piggybacking on a controversy out of the Capitol, involving Republican U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri. 

“Some of the people in Washington, like, can we actually agree that women get pregnant and not men? Because they don’t seem to say that,” DeSantis said. “It’s just unbelievable, some of the stuff that you’re hearing about that.”

The Moms for Liberty summit, with the organization being born in Florida and closely tied into the world of DeSantis, had the feel of a DeSantis campaign event Friday.

The group’s founders even presented DeSantis with what they call their first-ever Liberty Sword award. 

“His leadership has been a shining light,” Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice said. “I talk to moms all over the country who wish Ron DeSantis was their Governor. And I’m being told they cannot wait to vote for him for President.”

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook:


  • Bernie Sanders

    July 15, 2022 at 4:01 pm

    Vote RED for incivility and disgusting right wing culture
    Vote RED for conservatism for the masses but lavish spending for the rich.
    Vote RED for levels of wealth and income inequality the likes of which the world has never seen
    Vote RED for domestic terrorism to eliminate government so that the GOP grifters can institute low wage slavery forever
    Vote RED for evil plutocracy in the name of God.

  • YYep

    July 17, 2022 at 1:08 pm

    I just read some curriculum history it could be a subject

  • Al

    July 17, 2022 at 1:12 pm

    Subjects should not be to oppress the little guys.. to climb all over the heads

  • Tjb

    July 18, 2022 at 1:06 pm

    “ woke gender ideology shoved down their throat,” DeSantis said.
    Governor where is this specifically being taught and what percentages of schools are pushing this ideology?

    • David

      July 22, 2022 at 3:47 pm


  • Dan

    July 19, 2022 at 2:53 pm

    Can’t cover up the dumpster fire that Florida is turning into with it now being ranked one of the most unaffordable states in the US to live in. DeSantis has done NOTHING about. So what better way to distract the swamp people then manufacture an enemy for them to go after? So they pick the weakest, smallest, most vulnerable group they can find: LGBT. Such weakling cowards.

  • Al

    July 23, 2022 at 10:09 am

    Teaching in schools it like 1963 atheist and teaching the bible all over again

Comments are closed.


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