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In the week since the Florida House passed HB1557, better known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, the LGBT community has taken notice and taken to the streets, the beach, and 500 feet.

But nearly every planned protest has faced some type of pushback.

The pushback revealed how deep the prejudice and hate towards the LGBT community-run.

Students stage walkouts across the state to protest the bill. One of the leaders was Jack Petocz, who used Twitter to mobilize his peers across the state and at his Daytona area school, Flagler Palm Coast High School. He is now suspended indefinitely (though the school calls it “excused administrative leave”).

Petocz said he was called to the principal’s office shortly before the rally (which was allotted only 15 minutes), and told he couldn’t distribute Pride flags. He had 200 and decided to give them out to some of the 500 students who joined him in the protest. Afterwards he told the Daytona Beach News-Journal he was called disrespectful. They report he asked to talk with a lawyer and was escorted off-campus.

On his Twitter account, Petocz released a statement saying, in part, “Although the school administration had initially approved the rally and expressed support for students' civil liberties, their demeanor and tone drastically shifted as the rally progressed. Administrators began confiscating Pride flags and attempted to remove them from campus. As the leader of the rally and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, I encouraged my fellow students not to give in to the school's unconstitutional seizure of our pride flags, but instead to continue demonstrating our pride in a peaceful manner. After the rally, I was informed that I had been indefinitely suspended. School administrators allowed me to collect my things and then escorted me off-campus.”

The movement is getting support from high-profile celebrities, including Ariana Grande who posted encouragement to her millions of followers.

Safe Schools planned a day of protests and awareness for March 1. On Monday, the banner plane company they hired to fly the message “Defeat! Don’t Say Gay” backed out. One employee texted a rally organizer, “We’re doing eight million [dollars] a year there and don’t want to piss off any potential clients that have a problem with that phrase for a one-time flight.”

The rally on Miami Beach did go on as planned, and a last-minute company was found to fly the banners over several large South Florida high schools and Wilton Manors.

On March 2, a group, led by Safe Schools and AHF, boarded a bus to Orlando in hopes of getting Disney to take a stand against “Don’t Say Gay.” Disney, which is generally considered an ally, has been silent during this debate.

The statement they finally offered late in the week can charitably be called tepid.

“We understand how important this issue is to our LGBTQ+ employees and many others. For nearly a century, Disney has been a unifying force that brings people together. We are determined that it remains a place where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. The biggest impact we can have in creating a more inclusive world is through the inspiring content we produce, the welcoming culture we create here and the diverse community organizations we support, including those representing the LGBTQ+ community.”

A recent poll says Floridians are closely divided on the issue, and are barely against the bill. All the protests are encouraging, but the Senate has passed the bill and will most likely be signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has vocally supported it.

On Twitter DeSantis’ press secretary accused liberals of mischaracterizing the bill.

“The bill that liberals inaccurately call “Don’t Say Gay” would be more accurately described as an Anti-Grooming Bill,” Cristina Pushaw tweeted. “If you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4-8-year-old children. Silence is complicity. This is how it works, Democrats, and I didn’t make the rules.”

Equality Florida blasted Pushaw in a statement.

“Governor DeSantis' spokesperson said the quiet part out loud: that this bill is grounded in a belief that LGBTQ people, simply by existing, are a threat to children and must be erased. He chose Pushaw to speak his mind to the public. He owns this unbridled hatred. This same bigoted insinuation has long been used to stigmatize our families, justify denying us the ability to adopt children, and is being used to justify the tracking of transgender children by government agents in Texas and threats to imprison their parents,” the statement reads. “Make no mistake — this is a tacit announcement from the governor that he supports the true intent of the Don’t Say Gay bill: the erasure of LGBTQ people.”