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Florida’s nude beaches pose a problem for Ron DeSantis

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Newsweek, June 2023

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been accused of hypocrisy for enacting a ban on minors attending drag shows, but allowing children at nude beaches in the state. Ahead of announcing his run for president, DeSantis cultivated a national profile by taking on culture war topics and fiercely pursued policies in Florida that restrict the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Days before launching his 2024 presidential bid during a glitch-riddled Twitter event last month, he signed several bills that ban gender-affirming care for minors, force people to use certain bathrooms, restrict discussion of personal pronouns in schools and target drag shows.

The “Protection of Children” bill banned minors from attending adult performances in all venues, including drag shows and strip clubs. It also allows the state to fine or revoke the liquor license of an establishment that admits minors to a performance that “simulates nudity, sexual conduct or specific sexual activities.”

Some critics have since accused DeSantis of hypocrisy, noting that such restrictions are not enforced at Florida’s nude beaches.

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