This weekend on “Saturday Night Live,” cast member Kate McKinnon shared her thoughts on the “Don’t Say Gay” bill that is expected to become law in Florida.
The controversial piece of legislation, officially called the Parental Rights in Education bill, in part prohibits “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels” in Florida's primary schools.
Chatting with Colin Jost during the Weekend Update segment, McKinnon, 38, mocked the bill by first pretending to misunderstand its meaning.
“I heard about this law, and I think it’s amazing!” McKinnon, who is gay, said. “Because when I was in middle school in the ‘90s, I was kind of tortured by the constant use of the word ‘gay,’ like, ‘That’s so gay’ or ‘Ew, you’re gay,’ and it made me feel horrible. And to hear that (Florida Gov.) Ron DeSantis has taken a stand and said, ‘No, you cannot say gay in school anymore!’ I’m so jazzed. And in Florida, of all places!”
When Jost explained the actual intent of the bill, McKinnon stopped in her tracks.
“Wha…?” she said in mock dismay. “I am deeply gay — sorry, deeply concerned.”
She added, “I’m trying to make sense of all this. Does this ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law have a purpose?”
Jost said that maybe supporters of the bill don’t want kids to come home with questions their parents don’t want to answer.
“So, like, one kid can say, ‘I live with my parents,’ but another one has to say, ‘I live in a house with two adult men who bought me when I was young?’” McKinnon joked.
“Ugh, if the ‘90s were right and ‘gay’ means ‘bad,’ then this is the gayest law I’ve ever seen,” she added.
The Parental Rights in Education bill has been passed by the Florida House and is up for a vote in the state's Senate on Monday. DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law.
Rep. Joe Harding, a Republican who introduced the bill, says the legislation is about “empowering parents."
“Creating boundaries at an early age of what is appropriate in our schools, when we are funding our schools, is not hate,” he said on the Florida House floor in February. “It’s actually providing boundaries, and it’s fair to our teachers and our school districts to know what we expect.”
Critics of the bill say it could have dangerous implications for LGBTQ youth.
“We are in distress because this bill is yet another attack on our community,” Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, a Democrat who is gay, said on the Florida House floor. “This bill goes way beyond the text on its page. It sends a terrible message to our youth that there is something so wrong, so inappropriate, so dangerous about this topic that we have to censor it from classroom instruction.”