Kate McKinnon and Colin Jost on 'SNL'

Kate McKinnon Roasts Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill on ‘SNL’

Kate McKinnon never misses.
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SNL all-star Kate McKinnon joined Colin Jost on Weekend Update to discuss Florida’s hateful and cruel “Don’t Say Gay” bill that just passed in the state’s House of Representatives. McKinnon begins the segment by celebrating the bill, saying “When I was in middle school, in the ’90s, I was kind of tortured by the constant use of the word ‘gay,’ like, you know, ‘That’s so gay,’ or ‘Ew, you’re gay.’ It made me feel horrible.”

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Jost quickly corrects her by saying that the bill doesn’t ban “gay” as a bad word, but that it bans any discussion or acknowledgment of sexual orientation or gender identity in primary school. The bill also demands that teachers out any students who confide in them to their parents, a dangerous and potentially life-threatening move. After Jost explains the toxic bill, McKinnon reacts with shock and horror. McKinnon, who is gay, reacts with a series of “what?!?”s, each delivered with an increasingly exaggerated horror.

McKinnon then gamely attempts to switch gears, but finds that she is unable to continue without repeating the word “gay”.  “I am deeply gay, sorry, concerned. Deeply concerned. It just feels like this is going to make kids gay and trans ― sorry, depressed and suicidal. I think these laws are lesbians, sorry, unconscionable.”

She then questions the point of the bill, and reflects on how it would impact the children of gay parents, erasing their family structure. “So one kid can say, ‘I live with my parents’, and one has to say ‘I live in a house with two adult men who bought me when I was young?” In unpacking the absurdity of the bill, both McKinnon and Jost expose how vague and impossible to enforce the law is. It is truly cruelty for cruelty’s sake.

She continued, “If the ’90s were right, and ‘gay’ means ‘bad,’ then this is the gayest law I have ever seen,” before encouraging the audience to sing “gay” instead, as she begins singing “gay, gay, gay” to the beat of Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water.”

Fans and celebrities quickly took to social media to celebrate McKinnon’s rant and to condemn the bill, including last month’s host Ariana DeBose:


(image: screencap)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.