Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has said that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law does not go “far enough”.
In an interview with Fox News Digital after a New Hampshire town hall on Thursday, Ms Haley criticized Mr DeSantis’ controversial legislation and said talks about gender and sexual orientation in elementary schools should be banned altogether.
“I think Ron was a good governor. I just think third grade is too young,” Ms. Haley said, referring to the Parents’ Rights in Education Act signed into law by Mr. DeSantis last year, which covers kindergarten through third grade. “We shouldn’t talk about gender and periods with kids in elementary school.”
“And if you’re going to talk to kids about it, you have to get parental permission to do it… That’s something between a parent and a kid. That’s not something that schools have to teach,” Ms Haley also told the network.
Ms Haley, who served as South Carolina’s governor from 2011 to 2017 and on Wednesday announced her 2024 presidency, made similar remarks to the crowd at Exeter City Hall, noting that Mr DeSantis’ legislation “does not go far enough”.
“Basically, you shouldn’t be able to talk about gender before third grade,” she said. “Sorry, I don’t think that goes far enough.”
“When I was in school, you didn’t have sex classes until seventh grade. And even then, your parents had to sign whether you could attend class.
Ms. Haley launched her run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination in a speech on February 15 in Charleston, South Carolina.
The daughter of Indian immigrants, she is known in the Republican Party as a solid conservative who is willing to address issues of gender and race.
Ms. Haley, 51, served in the Trump administration as US ambassador to the United Nations and has not broken with him on any major issues.
In a press release issued Wednesday, the Trump campaign linked stories in which Ms. Haley expressed her admiration for Hillary Clinton, supported Paul Ryan’s plans to cut programs like Social Security and Medicare, and opposed ending the birthright of citizenship, among other things pronounced.
In a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Tuesday, support for Mr Trump was 43 percent, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was 31 percent and Ms Haley was four percent.