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Tipsheet

Maryland's GOP Governor Rails Against DeSantis, Says Florida Parental Rights Bill Is 'Absurd'

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File

Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan took shots at Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Sunday and called the Parental Rights in Education bill that DeSantis recently signed into law "absurd."

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During an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union," Hogan slammed DeSantis for his criticism of Disney over the company's recent statement condemning the legislation. DeSantis has threatened to revoke Disney's self-governing status in response to its condemnation of the bill.

"I didn't really actually see the details of the legislation, but the whole thing seems like ... just a crazy fight," Hogan said. 

"It concerns me that DeSantis is always talking about, he was not demanding businesses do things but he was telling the cruise lines what they had to do, he was telling local schools what they had to be mandating and now he wants to criticize Disney for expressing how they feel about that bill. I mean, they have every right to, we have a thing called Freedom of Speech," he continued. "They can come out and say what they think. I think the bill was kind of absurd, and not something that would’ve happened in our state."

The bill, which DeSantis signed into law on Monday, prohibits educators from discussing gender identity and sexuality with children in kindergarten through third grade and would limit age-inappropriate discussions of sexuality in other grades.

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The legislation also allows parents to access their children's education and health records and requires schools to inform parents of changes to their child's mental, physical or emotional well-being. The bill exempts schools from disclosing information about a student to their parents if a "reasonably prudent person" would be concerned that doing so could result in abuse, abandonment or neglect.

Critics of the legislation have dubbed it the "Don't Say Gay" bill despite there being no mention in the bill of a ban on saying the word "gay." In protest of the bill, Florida Democrats and celebrities have chanted the word "gay."

"We're going to have a great night tonight," Academy Awards co-host Wanda Sykes said during the opening monologue at the awards show last week. "And for you people in Florida, we're going to have a gay night." Sykes and fellow co-hosts Amy Schumer and Regina Hall then began repeating the word "gay."

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