Mar 11, 2022

A response to Tangle on Florida's parental rights bill

A Tangle reader writes in.

I’m Isaac Saul, and this is Tangle: an independent, ad-free, subscriber-supported politics newsletter that summarizes the best arguments from across the political spectrum on the news of the day — then “my take.”

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Earlier this week, I published a piece on Florida's latest "Parental Rights" legislation that has been dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill.

In it, I explained in "my take" why I thought the bill was bad legislation and overly broad. I also discussed the contours of the debate, and some of the concerns I had more generally about the way folks on the right are discussing gender identity issues.

In response to that edition, I got an email from a journalist and author named Lisa Selin Davis. She described herself as a "heterodox lefty journalist" and said she objected to my framing of the issue (as left vs. right) and also indicated that she thought I missed some of the nuance. Then, she issued a request: Would I publish something she wrote about it?

In Tangle, I talk a lot about having these difficult conversations openly, and being able to both listen and change your mind. So I figured this was a great chance to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, and accepted her offer. Over the course of the week, she wrote (and my team lightly edited) the piece below, which we've published in full. I hope you enjoy it.

Until I read Tangle’s take on Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, I—like many liberals, I would imagine—wasn’t familiar with the bill’s language. I didn’t even know the actual name of the bill, HB 1557, or that its sponsors refer to it as “Parental Rights Legislation.” Much of the liberal media I consume was using the judgment-filled moniker “Don’t Say Gay,” which tells liberals and lefties how they should feel about the legislation: bad.