Wednesday, July 05, 2023

'Gays Against Groomers' imploding over DeSantis ad, allegations that founder is on DeSantis payroll

Gays Against Groomers is in the middle of an ugly feud to an anti-LGBTQ ad by DeSantis campaign

It looks like DeSantis' so-called "war on woke" has claimed a scalp, so to speak. But not one which he hoped for:

For the initiated, David Leatherwood is one of the founders of the group Gays Against Groomers (GAG). This group claims made up of gays and lesbians supposedly fed up with "left-wing" members of the community and supporters of "trans ideology" going after kids.

In reality, according to The Advocate:

GAG is not a grassroots initiative but a right-wing project seeking to gain political and financial advantage by using anti-trans rhetoric, according to the left-leaning media watchdog. GAG was formed last year “to protect the kids” from “sexualization, indoctrination, and medicalization,” Michell claims, and it has gained prestige in right-wing circles along with Chaiya Raichik’s Libs of TikTok, which also attacks the LGBTQ+ community. Both have promoted the use of the anti-LGBTQ+ slur “groomer.”

So what got Leatherwood upset? 

Last week, Ron DeSantis' campaign unleashed an ad on Twitter calling out Donald Trump for voicing support for the LGBTQ community in 2016. The ad was condemned by both folks on the left and right of the political spectrum. Gay conservatives in particular were incensed, claiming that they were misled by DeSantis. Some said they couldn't understand why DeSantis attacked LGBTQ people in general instead of the so-called far left of the community:

 LGBTQ conservatives, reacting to the video, said DeSantis had shown his true colors as an “anti-LGBT champion,” undermining his arguments that his support for the policies were about protecting children and parents’ rights. 

 “It’s like he’s going mask off,” said Brad Polumbo, a Michigan-based libertarian journalist. “The cat’s out of the bag.” Polumbo said he’d have considered voting for DeSantis at one time. “I’m somebody who has my fair share of policy disagreements with DeSantis, but I was considering voting for him in the primary before he entered the race officially,” he said. “Since then, he’s done thing after thing that really makes me increasingly write off that possibility.” 

 Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), who has endorsed Trump for president but vocally supported Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill on the campaign trail last year, said that in light of Friday’s video, he now feels that he was “used” and misled by DeSantis. “I used to think he was a great governor,” Santos, the first non-incumbent gay Republican elected to Congress, said of DeSantis. “Now, I’m starting to think differently.”

The ad caused gay Republicans and members of the DeSantis campaign to snipe at each other on Twitter with Leatherwood being in the middle of it all.

Then things got considerably ugly when Caitlyn Jenner got involved. Jenner, who at one time was seen as a positive role model for trans people, has made a name for herself with her anti-trans positions and statements.  She chose to interject herself in the middle of the argument by calling out Jaimee Mitchell, the other founder of Gays Against Groomers.

Mitchell did not take Jenner's comments well. She got downright nasty.

And this is where we came in, so to speak. While it has not been confirmed that Mitchell (and thus GAG) is on the payroll of DeSantis, some alleged former members tweeted support to Leatherwood and criticism of GAG, particularly Mitchell.

Viscount was voicing opposition to Mitchell as far back as May.

So, this is where we are thus far. I don't know how or where this is going to end, but I am enjoying the ride. It couldn't be happening to a more deserving bunch of . . . people.

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Transportation Secretary Pet Buttigieg

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