Florida is enacting 6 openly anti-LGBTQ+ bills this year, which is more than the last 7 years combined, and it is only May. The Human Rights Campaign has compiled a list of the bills that have already been passed:
- Don’t Say LGBTQ+ Expansion Bill (HB 1069): In an intentional effort to erase transgender and non-binary people from the curriculum, HB 1069 bans instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity from Pre-K through Grade 8, creates an anti-LGBTQ+ definition of sex based on reproductive function, and would force school staff and students to deadname and misgender one another. In April, Florida’s Board of Education also voted to expand Gov. DeSantis’s shameful “Don’t Say LGBTQ+” bill from 2022 to all grades.
- Extreme Gender Affirming Care Ban (SB 254): Even among the crowded field of extreme and damaging bans on best practice, age-appropriate health care, this bill stands out as particularly mean-spirited. SB 254 would penalize providers by inflicting criminal penalties (including felony penalties) on providers who give gender-affirming care; it would take licenses away from those providers; and it would prohibit Medicaid from covering gender-affirming care for transgender youth or adults. It would also forbid public funds, including those of a public university, public hospital, city or county, and Medicaid, from being used to provide benefits that include gender-affirming care – for transgender people of all ages. And – uniquely – it allows the state to use gender-affirming care or the “risk” of such care for a child as a reason to give Florida family courts exceptional jurisdiction to set aside another state’s custody determination. By singing this bill, DeSantis is disrespecting the United States Constitution as well as the rule of law, not to mention transgender Floridians, their families, and their medical care providers.
- Anti-Trans Bathroom Bill (HB 1521): HB 1521 criminalizes transgender people for using the restroom that matches their gender identity. The bill prohibits gender-inclusive restrooms and changing facilities in schools, public shelters, healthcare facilities, and jails.
- MAGA Takeover of Higher Ed Bill (SB 266): SB 266 doubles down on Gov. DeSantis’s attacks on academic freedom. The bill would allow the state Board of Governors to give direction to universities on removing majors and minors in subjects like critical race theory and gender studies and would prohibit spending on programs or activities that support such curricula.
- License to Discriminate in Healthcare (SB 1580): This bill will allow healthcare providers and insurers to deny a patient care on the basis of religious, moral, or ethical beliefs. It creates a license to discriminate by allowing healthcare employers to discriminate in hiring, and it bars medical Boards from disciplining doctors for spreading misinformation.
The sixth bill, SB 170, is awaiting DeSantis’s signature. According to the Human Rights Campaign, this bill would “discourage cities from passing non-discrimination ordinances by raising the barriers to proposing ordinances and making it easier to challenge ordinances in court.”
If you want to help queer and trans Floridians, consider donating to Equality Florida or directly to LGBTQ centers in the state. It’s important for us to stand in solidarity with all LGBTQ+ Americans.
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