HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher has come out in defense of a bill in Florida that seeks to bar discussion of gender and sexuality in grades K-3 in schools.
The measure is opposed by just about every left-wing politician and organization in the U.S., in no small part because they also despise GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis and his ‘parents first’ approach to public schools.
And to be sure, Maher is certainly a liberal — he makes no bones about that. But he’s more of an old-school liberal, as in, back in the days when Democrats agreed with Republicans that there ought to be guardrails and parameters when it comes to the content presented to our youngest, most vulnerable and most impressionable citizens.
The Daily Wire noted that Maher “defended the Florida bill that critics have unfairly labeled ‘Don’t Say Gay,’ arguing during the ‘Overtime’ portion of Friday night’s episode of ‘Real Time With Bill Maher’ that it was reasonable to believe kids in early elementary school should not ‘be thinking about sex at all.'”
The outlet continues:
Maher discussed the issue with New York Times columnist Frank Bruni and Newsweek’s Batya Ungar-Sargon, and he pointed to the fact that the bill does not actually ban saying “gay” at all and clearly addresses only classroom instruction for children — in pre-kindergarten through third grade — regarding gender identity and sexual orientation.
“I’m glad somebody asked this: ‘Is Florida’s Don’t Say Gay bill designed to trap Democrats into saying they support teaching young children about sexuality’ is the question,” Maher read from a viewer letter.
“But we can broaden that to anything about that,” Maher continued, adding that he researched the legislation before the show and believes there are certainly parts of it that seemed to make sense to him.
“It’s — it’s — I mean, if people don’t know, this is something DeSantis is about to sign. And I guess it’s a reaction to Republicans who feel that there’s too much talk in lower grades. I think it’s only — they’re talking about kindergarten to third grade. So we’re talking about very young kids who, you know, as always with this stuff, you know this. It’s not like there’s no kernel of truth in that maybe kids that young shouldn’t be thinking about sex at all. I don’t think it’s specific,” he continued.
“I think, don’t say, it’s not like you’re not allowed to literally not say ‘gay,’ but they just don’t want teachers talking about it. They think it’s the province of parents,” Maher then turned the question to his guests. “What do you think?”
“What do you think, Frank? I’m curious,” Ungar-Sargon asked.
“I mean, that sounds reasonable on the face of it. I mean, I’m not — I’m not. My main concern, as a gay man who advocates for gay rights, is not that second-graders know who Harvey Milk is,” Bruni replied. “That is not the key to LGBTQ equality. But I mean, I also question, I mean, [does] this really need to be at the top of these politicians’ list? I mean, this is a total — it’s — this is…”
“No, it’s a wedge issue…” Maher pressed.
“This is — this is not going to improve Floridians’ lives. This is not an urgent problem,” Bruni claimed. “This is a dodge. It’s another culture war that’s meant to score cheap, easy points rather than really solving Americans’ problems.”
In fact, the legislation is meant to improve the lives of Florida parents who — and what a concept this is — want to teach their own kids about such subjects rather than have them subjected to a very obviously biased curriculum.
What is galling is hearing leftists dismiss such parental concerns as if they are the only ones who know best on such matters (even if they don’t have kids themselves).