After spending more than two years punching down and bullying the LGBT community, Gov. Ron DeSantis is facing pushback from one of Florida’s legal leaders: Norm Kent.
SFGN’s owner is preparing to sue the governor and the state over its attacks on drag queens.
“They are exercising their first amendment rights and being expressive of the world we want to live in,” Kent said. He has found a plaintiff and plans to file on behalf of the veteran entertainer and all other drag queens who face a loss of income and potential arrest. He will announce the name at a later date.
“I’ll put Gov. Ron DeSantis in jail first before any drag queens are put in jail,” Kent said.
The suit stems from DeSantis’ latest attack on the LGBT community. A Drag Queen Christmas, starring alumni from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” is a popular show that tours the nation. After a Dec. 26 performance at the Broward Center, he ginned up outrage by denouncing the fact that children were allowed in. An official complaint described “sexually explicit” content.
The show was interrupted by a patron who feigned outrage and shouted at the performers. He was escorted out but the stage was set for another performance, this one starring the governor and his minions.
“If they are going to ban drag queens, then they need to ban movies and shows like ‘The Birdcage,’ ‘Cabaret,’ and ‘Moulin Rouge,’” Kent said.
A Veteran of the Fight For Rights
The fight for LGBT rights has been Kent’s life work. While his visibility has been reduced in the last couple of years due to health issues, his passion is as strong as ever.
“I’m coming back with a fury in 2023. I will fight like it’s 1983.”
An op-ed Kent wrote in 1975 was republished in the Dec. 21 issue of SFGN. Kent reflected on the escapism offered by Disney’s parks. But he remembers a darker side of the Mouse House. In 1978, West Hollywood, CA, bar owners quietly organized a progenitor of what would become Gay Days. Live music was canceled for the day, security was on the lookout for same-sex dancing, and the staff didn’t need to live up to their usual standards of friendliness.
Today’s fight in Florida harkens back to those oppressive times.
“This is the worst since the late-70s when Disney tried to ban gays from the parks.”
Kent is quick to point out the hypocritical sludge oozing out of Tallahassee. While the governor and his Republican enablers are quick to condemn children being in the presence of drag queens, the governor’s own children have been used to score political points.
“If a drag queen can go to jail because it corrupts a child, then so does putting a child into a political space.”
He is referring to DeSantis putting his child in ads and being around former President Donald Trump. Trump is under numerous investigations, including a criminal referral from congress to the Department of Justice.
“The governor needs to be called out for what he is. Not a conservative champion, but a self-righteous neanderthal.”
Referring to his own health fights, Kent quipped, “The wrong person went in for brain surgery. He’s the one with a brain tumor, not me.”