A Gays Against Groomers official has resigned from the organization citing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ recent campaign advertisement criticizing former President Donald Trump’s support for LGBTQ issues.
The advertisement, originally shared on June 30 by a Twitter user, features a compilation of the former president expressing support for LGBTQ citizens. The ad also features previous statements from Trump saying he would let Caitlyn Jenner, who identifies as a transgender woman, use the woman’s restroom in Trump Tower along with appearing to support transgender identifying individuals participating in gendered sports.
The advertisement later transitions to DeSantis’ efforts to curb all-ages drag performances along with support for gendered bathrooms among other controversial culture war stances via legislation.
The Florida governor commented on the viral ad, which was subsequently shared by DeSantis War Room, saying it was “totally fair game.”
“I would like to announce that I am formally resigning from my board position with Gays Against Groomers and withdrawing my involvement from the organization,” David Leatherwood wrote. “I will always support the mission of GAG and the great and impactful work they are doing to protect kids from indoctrination, medicalization, and sterilization.”
“GAG is a great organization, and I have nothing bad to say about the group or its leaders and wish them continued success.”
Today I would like to announce that I am formally resigning from my board position with Gays Against Groomers and withdrawing my involvement from the organization.
I will always support the mission of GAG, and the great & impactful work they are doing to protect kids from…
— David Leatherwood 🇺🇸 (@brokebackUSA) July 5, 2023
“My decision to part ways is strictly professional, and on good terms with mutual understanding,” Leatherwood continued. “I greatly admire the organization’s passion and effectiveness in the mission for protecting kids and making a positive impact on our culture.”
GAG responded to Leatherwood’s announcement wishing the former official luck in his future endeavors.
“Thank you for all the work you’ve done with us to save these children,” GAG wrote shortly after Leatherwood’s announcement.
In a follow up post, Leatherwood said his departure from GAG was “directly related” to founder Jaimee Michell’s outspoken support for Florida governor Ron DeSantis’ 2024 presidential campaign following a recent ad which Leatherwood referred to as “extremely anti-gay.”
“While I respect everyone’s right to their own opinion, the homophobia coming from the DeSantis campaign is not something I want to be affiliated with in any way. Even by proxy thru GAG.”
It is unfortunate that David Leatherwood decided to end his volunteer work with Gays Against Groomers over my support of Ron Desantis,” Michell told Timcast News. “My personal views do not reflect the organization’s as Gays Against Groomers is nonpartisan and has members all over the political spectrum who are free to openly express their opinions, political and otherwise.”
She added: “It is sad that we are at a place where there are people who put candidate preference over the work we are doing at Gays Against Groomers because we value every member in our organization regardless of their political beliefs. We wish David the best in his future endeavors.”
According to the organization’s mission statement, GAG seeks to end the sexualization, indoctrination, and medicalization of children under the guise of “LGBTQIA+.”
“Gays Against Groomers directly opposes the sexualization and indoctrination of children. This includes drag queen story hours, drag shows involving children, the transitioning and medicalization of minors, and gender theory being taught in the classroom.”
The organization’s statement continues:
When fighting for equality, our goal was to successfully integrate ourselves into society, but now radicals aim to restructure it entirely in order to accommodate a fringe minority, as well as seek to indoctrinate children into their ideology. … The gay community is not a monolith. Those pushing this agenda do not represent or speak for us all, nor do we want to be associated with them in any way. What we are witnessing is mass scale child abuse being perpetrated on an entire generation, and we will no longer sit by and watch it happen.
The group added: “It is going to take those of us from within the community to finally put an end to this insanity, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story did not include Michell’s statement to Timcast News.