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One of the student leaders against the “Don’t Say Gay” law has quit his job at Publix over what he said is the company’s lack of support for its young LGBT workers. 

Jack Petocz announced his stance on Twitter, saying, “After four years of service, I was so disheartened when the company failed to even make a statement following more than $200,000 in donations to the sponsors of the ‘Don't Say Gay’ [law].”

He then encouraged his followers and supporters to put pressure on Publix by using the hashtag #StopFundingHate.

Petocz is gay, and has been one of the highest-profile students fighting LGBT silencing and censorship in Florida. Last month, he helped organize a statewide walkout of students to protest DSG. He was immediately suspended from school and escorted off-campus. He says the suspension wasn’t because he was a protest organizer, but because he was handing out rainbow pride flags.

SFGN reached out to Publix for comment and, as of this writing, has not responded.

Attacked For His Views

As has been the case often during Gov. Ron DeSantis’ term, opposition to their agenda means being demonized, even if they’re demonizing one of the people they say they’re trying to protect. DeSantis’ press secretary, Christina Pushaw, said opponents are “grooming” children, which is a dog-whistle term for saying they’re pedophiles.

Now she’s attacking Petocz, retweeting him and commenting, “Lol they’re really trying this. Publix is a bigger employer in Florida than Disney is. Publix is certainly aware of Floridians’ reaction to Disney declaring war on parental rights — and losing $41 billion in shareholder value. I doubt Publix will make the same mistake Disney did.”

Disney’s stock has declined from about $147 per share around the time they came out against DSG, and is now around $116 per share. But it should be noted the stock’s decline started in November, well before DSG became a thing.

Petocz said he isn’t surprised he’s being targeted by the government for his views.

“I’m not surprised that the press secretary of a governor, who’s raising taxes on Floridians for the sake of a few minutes of Fox air time, would shit on a working-class teenager standing up for themselves and their identity.”

His profile also lists him as the director of an effort to recall the Flagler County School Board, and as doing political strategy with Genz For Change, a youth-focused grassroots organization.


Fight Against 'Don't Say Gay' Gets Louder, Prouder