Controversial Video Exposes Divide Between DeSantis and Trump on LGBTQ Rights

In a surprising turn of events, Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis’s campaign released a video attacking former President Donald Trump’s previous positions on LGBTQ rights. The video, which was shared on social media, begins with a clip of Trump promising to protect LGBTQ people in the wake of the 2016 Pulse gay nightclub shooting in Orlando.[0] This was a significant moment for the LGBTQ community, as it marked a rare occasion where a Republican candidate expressed support for their rights.

The video then goes on to show how DeSantis, who is currently running against Trump for the GOP nomination, has implemented anti-trans laws and attempted to shut down drag events.[1] It features pop culture images from shows like Peaky Blinders and actors like Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, and Leonardo DiCaprio.[1] The intention behind the video seems to be to contrast Trump’s support for the LGBTQ community with DeSantis’s actions, painting him as an opponent of LGBTQ rights.

However, the video has sparked controversy and backlash, even from conservative groups like the Log Cabin Republicans, one of the largest gay GOP groups in the country.[2] They criticized the DeSantis campaign for venturing into “homophobic territory.” Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, who are both potential 2024 White House contenders, also criticized the video for going too far.[3]

Despite the backlash, DeSantis has stood by the video, and it has not seemed to affect his viability in the Republican field. This has raised concerns among those who support LGBTQ rights, as it suggests that anti-LGBTQ sentiment is still prevalent within the Republican Party.

The video also highlights the stark differences between Trump and DeSantis on LGBTQ rights. While Trump made promises to protect the community, DeSantis has implemented laws that are seen as extreme and harmful to transgender individuals. These laws have been described as threatening trans existence and being some of the harshest and most draconian in modern history.[4]

Critics have pointed out that DeSantis’s anti-LGBTQ stance is even more extreme than Trump’s. This has led to disappointment and frustration among those who were initially supportive of DeSantis. They feel that he has taken the party back decades and made a mockery of any GOP candidate who shows an interest in LGBTQ rights.[5]

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay Cabinet member to be confirmed by the Senate, also criticized the video.[4] He questioned the mentality of someone who would try to prove their worth by making life harder for a vulnerable community.

Even beyond the LGBTQ community, the video has drawn criticism from both sides of the aisle. The previous governor of New Jersey.[6] Chris Christie expressed discomfort with the video and the direction it is taking the national debate.[7]

In addition to the controversy surrounding the content of the video, there is also a legal issue.[2] The video used footage from the TV show Peaky Blinders without permission or an official license.[8] The show’s production team released a statement confirming that the footage was obtained without authorization.

Overall, the release of this video has ignited a heated debate about LGBTQ rights within the Republican Party. It has raised questions about the party’s stance on LGBTQ issues and the direction it is heading. The backlash to the video shows that there is still work to be done in achieving equality and acceptance for the LGBTQ community.

0. “DeSantis support of anti-gay video called bad strategy, worse message” Orlando Sentinel, 6 Jul. 2023,

1. “‘Peaky Blinders’ Slams Ron DeSantis Campaign For Use Of Tommy Shelby Video” Deadline, 5 Jul. 2023,

2. “Buttigieg blasts DeSantis over LGBTQ attack clip featuring ‘oiled-up shirtless bodybuilders'” New York Post , 2 Jul. 2023,

3. “The Ron DeSantis video all but calls for eliminating trans people” MSNBC, 3 Jul. 2023,

4. “Buttigieg asks DeSantis the right question: ‘Who are you trying to help?’” MSNBC, 3 Jul. 2023,

5. “A desperate DeSantis jumps head first into the mud with bizarre, homophobic Trump attack | Opinion” Miami Herald, 3 Jul. 2023,

6. “DeSantis slammed over Trump attack ad over LGBTQ rights” NPR, 3 Jul. 2023,

7. “GOP candidates hit DeSantis, Trump over LGBTQ debate” POLITICO, 2 Jul. 2023,

8. “Both Republicans and Democrats criticize DeSantis’s new campaign ad” WPLG Local 10, 3 Jul. 2023,

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