Florida lawmakers, governor push extreme anti-LGBTQ measures
A multi-part anti-trans medical care bill is advancing in Florida's House, and Gov. Ron DeSantis plans to expand the "Don't Say Gay" law's aims to all grades.
As a Florida House subcommittee advanced the most extreme anti-transgender legislation that Law Dork has covered, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s administration is moving forward with a plan to ban most teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity all the through 12th grade.
First, the legislation: H.B. 1421.
The bill was amended in a subcommittee hearing on Wednesday and then favorably reported out of the Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee. Introduced and amended by Republican Rep. Randy Fine, the bill is now with the full Health & Human Services Committee, of which he is the chair.
What does the bill do? Nearly everything. Seriously. This legislation would take more than a dozen legislative actions to make trans people’s lives more difficult, and specifically, to make their medical care more difficult to obtain.
Going through the bill in order, it would:
Allow child custody orders to be changed “to the extent necessary to protect the child from being subjected to” gender-affirming medical care.
Bar use of public funds — and possibly, as written, the personal funds of anyone who contracts with or works for the state of Florida — for gender-affirming medical care.
Ban trans people from having their birth certificate sex marker changed.
Suspend a health care practitioner’s license if they provide (or conspire or attempt to provide) gender-affirming medical care to a minor.
Define gender-affirming medical care, including puberty blockers and hormones, as “gender clinical interventions” (which is thus the term use throughout the bill).
Ban gender-affirming medical care for minors going forward.
Order the discontinuation of gender-affirming medical care for those already receiving it by the end of this calendar year.
Require additional liability coverage for doctors who seek to provide gender-affirming medical care for adults.
Require any adult patient to provide “informed written consent” at every appointment in which they are receiving gender-affirming medical care, consent that will include information to be determined by the Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine.
Create a right for individuals working at a hospital that provides gender-affirming medical care to refuse to provide such care, whether based on “clinical, moral, or religious grounds.”
Allow for a 30-year statute of limitations for private lawsuits alleging injury or death resulting from negligent gender-affirming medical care and exempt such lawsuits from medical malpractice protections and limitations.
Make providing gender-affirming medical care to minors a third-degree felony.
Ban health-insurance coverage or health-maintenance coverage for gender-affirming medical care for all ages, as written.
Create a private right of action (civil lawsuit) for “any physical, psychological, emotional, or physiological injury resulting from” gender-affirming medical care that incudes a 30-year statute of limitations for the person who received the care and a 5-year statute of limitations after the person’s death for their estate.
To lay out all that the bill would do is to explain why it is the most extreme anti-trans bill moving forward in the country right now, and that’s why I thought it was important to cover it before it even passes a legislative chamber.
That said, it should also be noted that similar language to almost all of these provisions have been present in at least some other legislation elsewhere, albeit not all in one bill. Oklahoma’s H.B. 2177, for example, contains several provisions similar to several of those in the Florida bill — including the insurance-related provision and its applicability to all ages — and that bill has already passed the Oklahoma House.
Further, many of these provisions — at least in part — have even been signed into law elsewhere.
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But, that’s not all from Florida.
As that bill is being considered, the Education Department under DeSantis has proposed a rule that would ban teachers from “intentionally provid[ing] classroom instruction to students in grades 4 through 12 on sexual orientation or gender identity” unless it is required elsewhere by law or is a part of a health lesson in which a student’s parent is allowed to have their student not attend.
The rule is to be voted on next month, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The move would be, in effect, a dramatic expansion of the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” act — officially, the Parental Rights in Education Act — to all primary and secondary schools. The law only applied through grade 3. Legislation under consideration in the Florida legislature would expand the law’s aims, but through grade 8 — not for all grades.
A violation of the new proposed rule would lead to the “revocation or suspension” of a teacher’s license or “other penalties as provided by law,” according to the proposed rule.
The hearing on the proposed rule will be held April 19 — a Wednesday — in Tallahassee.
Equality Florida isn’t waiting for the hearing, however, pushing back online on Wednesday.
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