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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says he vetoed $32m in arts funding because of ‘sexual’ festivals

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has said that he killed $32 million in arts funding because some local theater festivals have “sexual” content.

DeSantis vetoed the funding earlier this month, Axios Miami reports. The staunch Republican cited “sexual” festivals as the reason for the cuts at a Thursday press conference.

“You have your tax dollars being given in grants to things like the Fringe Festival, which is like a sexual festival where they’re doing all this stuff,” DeSantis said.

“I can’t sell the Fringe Festival to taxpayers, nor would I want to try to sell the Fringe Festival to taxpayers.”

But those who run and have attended the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival disagree.

The two-week event in May features live entertainment, concerts and “kid friendly shows and activities,” according to its website.

State Representative Anna Eskamani, a Democrat, said the festival isn’t sexual, and suggested another reason the governor pulled the funding.

“It does feature drag queens and other forms of artistic expression that DeSantis has wanted to censor despite courts telling him otherwise,” she told The Miami-Herald.

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that Florida cannot enforce a law that would limit drag shows. The law, which DeSantis championed, would have made it a misdemeanor for a venue to knowingly let a child into a sexually explicit performance that could be considered obscene for their age.

Several cultural organizations, many centered around Jewish and LGBTQ+ communities, are also impacted by the recent arts funding veto.

The Holocaust Documentation and Education Center lost more than $70,000, while the state’s Holocaust Memorial Committee lost $47,000, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Jewish

Read more on independent.co.uk