Across the country, conservative elected officials and media personalities have ramped up their attacks on the LGBTQ community, reviving decades-old tropes that LGBTQ people seek to "groom" children by infiltrating the school system.
In Texas, far-right Governor Greg Abbott issued a directive to the state's child services department, demanding they investigate the parents of transgender children for child abuse. In Florida, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed the Parental Rights in Education bill, colloquially known as "Don't Say Gay," into law. The legislation bans "instruction" regarding sexuality and gender in the classroom from kindergarten to third grade, though critics believe the law will be weaponized against LGBTQ people.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki—normally known for her collected demeanor in the briefing room—got understandably emotional while discussing the conservative attacks on LGBTQ children and their families in an interview with Jessica Yellin of the News Not Noise podcast
“Harsh and cruel.” Jen Psaki breaks down in tears talking about the anti-LGBTQ bills being passed in Republican states. (Podcast, audio only) pic.twitter.com/COtysFXtmW
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) April 19, 2022
After noting that these anti-LGBTQ laws and proposals don't reflect public opinion, Psaki broke down in tears, saying:
"This is a political wedge issue and an attempt to win a culture war, and they're doing that in a way that is harsh and cruel to a community of kids, especially. I'm gonna get emotional about this issue. It's horrible. It's like kids who are bullied and all these leaders are taking steps to hurt them and hurt their lives and hurt their families. And you look at some of these laws in these states and it's going after parents who are in loving relationships, who have kids. It's completely outrageous."
Psaki was met with an outpouring of support for her empathy and determination, former White House press secretary and serial liar Kayleigh McEnany wasn't sympathetic.
On the conservative Fox News network, the Trump-era spokeswoman said Psaki should instead be crying because the government can't force Americans to give birth. McEnany also suggested that LGBTQ people and their allies are "forcing sexuality on kindergarteners."
Kayleigh calls on Psaki to cry about children that “do not exist” because they were aborted pic.twitter.com/4Ti36EZIwa
— Acyn (@Acyn) April 20, 2022
"I think the press secretary should cry about the 62 million children that do not exist; that have been aborted because of Roe v. Wade—a heinous, heinous decision in this country that has exterminated about one-fifth of the United States population. So if you want to cry, don't cry about forcing sexuality on kindergarteners. That is sick. Cry about the 62 million children who can't even go to kindergarten."
While Fox News viewers likely appreciated McEnany's diatribe, others did not.
Kayleigh is a dangerous fanatic. Who lies with impunity. https://t.co/qtW95yuyxj
— Paulette Feeney (@PauletteParis1) April 20, 2022
Kayleigh McEnany thinks fetuses show up on the census
— Tony Michaels 🎙 (@thetonymichaels) April 20, 2022
Lol Kayleigh McEnany the virtue signaling champion for children who “do not exist.” It costs her nothing to act morally superior because non-existent children are morally uncomplicated & will never actually need anything from her. Republicans are only pro-life for about 9 months. https://t.co/2TGS3oZu0R
— JerriLynn (@Jerri_Lynn25) April 20, 2022
Who is "forcing" sexuality on 5yr olds?? Smh....these people will say anything to regain power just to NOTHING 🤨 #ProChoice #GodHatesLiars #RepublicansAreWeird https://t.co/klQ2H5c9sQ
— MzC.R.E.A.M (@MzLinnK) April 20, 2022
Kayleigh McEnany received a paycheck to lie for arguably the most prolific liar in American history. Kayleigh McEnany has the credibility, integrity and trustworthiness of Roger Stone crossed with Kellyanne Conway. https://t.co/mJQVcQHXK5
— Bill Huddleston (@bhuddleston66) April 20, 2022
Others offered alternative suggestions for things McEnany could cry about.
I call on Kayleigh to cry about the women who are being deprived of bodily autonomy because of Republican efforts to erode abortion access. https://t.co/rIpw6QfVs2
— Miranda Yaver, PhD (@mirandayaver) April 20, 2022
McEnany should be crying over all the people who no longer exist because her sociopathic boss created a COVID non-response that killed them. https://t.co/vcjlHFLtt3
— David Lytle (@davitydave) April 20, 2022
I weep for the kids that are victims of gun violence. https://t.co/gMZ1O1TxF1
— Majick Annie Grumpy in Pain. AntifaElder #BLM (@woutgorge) April 20, 2022
Maybe you should start crying about your non-existent
integrity and credibility, Kayleigh. https://t.co/pBpkfG16d3
— 🌊🌊🌊Wayne The Philosopher🌊🌊🌊 (@mcburls) April 20, 2022
At least she knows her audience.