Three teenagers who attended a recent Ron DeSantis campaign event were escorted out and attacked by his supporters after displaying a rainbow flag.
Ron DeSantis is infamous for passing legislation targeting the LGBTQ+ community including the “Don’t Say Gay” law which prevents young people from being educated on identities within the LGBTQ+ community. Since announcing his run for president in May, DeSantis has been considered Donald Trump’s biggest competitor in the 2024 presidential election.
The event took place at the Phillip T. Glennon Community Center in Tega Cay South Carolina. The protestors being abused have been identified as 19 year olds Claire Jost and Will Sander along with Sander’s 16-year-old sister who wish to not be identified.
In conversation with Newsweek, Jost and Sander revealed they attended the event to stand up for their beliefs. They recalled conversing in a friendly manner with other event-goers who were “very polite until we pulled out our flags.” The pair held their rainbow flags up at the beginning of DeSantis’s speech and were quickly confronted by attendees who tried to rip the flag from their hands.
Jost and Sander recalled being grabbed from behind as multiple people tried to push them to the ground. Many people rushed to the scene and quickly escorted them out of the venue and even insisted that Sander’s sister get out of her wheelchair and walk as they left.
Throughout the interaction DeSantis can be heard making remarks about Joe Biden and his family before shouting at the protestors, “We don’t want you indoctrinating our children. Leave our kids alone,” in a video from The Daily Mail.
The protestors said they were shocked that people they knew from their hometown were so quick to turn against them as they pulled out the flags. Some reports from Florida Politics have revealed that the people in conflict with Jost and Sander were potentially members of an anti-LGBTQ+ hate group called “Moms for Liberty.”
Sander told Newsweek “I know a lot of DeSantis voters, they seem to be good Christian people. This is a family neighborhood. But how quickly those same people were willing to turn against children that they’ve watched grow up in their neighborhood, just because they held a Pride flag.”