Medical professionals denounce 'Don't Say Gay' law during Orlando protest

'It causes direct harm in the moment, and it causes harm long term,' Dr. Carl Streed says
Posted at 5:03 PM, Apr 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-08 18:39:25-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — More out-of-state criticism is being directed at Florida over the new "Parental Rights in Education" law, deemed by others as the "Don’t Say Gay" law.

This time, Los Angeles County lawmakers approved a ban on any official travel by their employees to Florida.

The new law has sparked reactions from mayors in New York and Chicago as well as many LGBTQ groups around the country.

More than 200 medical professionals stepped out of an annual convention in Orlando on Friday for a rally to protest law, chanting "We say gay."

Dr. Karl Streed, doctor who protested 'Don't Say Gay' bill in Orlando
Dr. Karl Streed was among the doctors who protested the law in Orlando.

"These laws cause harm not only in the jurisdictions but will affect our patients wherever we're practicing," Dr. Carl Streed said.

Streed, along with his colleagues, talked over Zoom about the law that seems to have America talking, and at least these doctors concerned.

"The reason us as physicians are concerned about this is anytime there is a law regulating any marginalized group of people, it causes direct harm. It causes direct harm in the moment, and it causes harm long term," Streed said.

The doctors said they need to keep talking, especially if it's not happening in schools.

Gov. Ron DeSantis discusses support for parental rights, April 8, 2022
Gov. Ron DeSantis discusses support for parental rights during a news conference held on April 8, 2022.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis remains a strong supporter of the law and is not backing down to any outside pressure.

"I don't care what the media says about that. I don’t care what left-wing activists say about that. I do not care what big companies say about that," DeSantis said.

"Ron DeSantis is one of the most aggressive governors we’ve ever had in this state when it comes to politics," WPTV political analyst Brian Crowley said.

The governor's tough words are fuel for his opponents, who say the new law will hurt the state in the long run.

Nikki Fried, shares thoughts on tourism impacts to Florida over 'Don't Say Gay' law
Nikki Fried believes the governor's "culture wars" will impact the state for years.

"The reality of the situation is that the economic impact on our state of these culture wars are going to be seen for generations to come," said Nikki Fried, a Democrat running for governor.

Officials in Palm Beach County said the tourist industry remains strong despite the politics. They are working to keep visitors coming here.

"I think any destination just needs to make sure that they communicate with their clients that you are a welcoming destination and that's what we try to convince all of our clients," said Glenn Jergensen, executive director of the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council.