On the same day, the Florida Senate expanded the state’s infamous “don’t say gay” statute and enacted a “bathroom bill” that targets transgender people. The law might make it such that families are even less likely to accept transgender people’s existence and even less likely to provide them with a safe location to use the restroom. Despite calls from members of the LGBTQ+ community in Florida to stop their constant onslaught, the legislation moved through. .
Gov. Ron DeSantis will soon be presented with the so-called expansion of parental rights, which would send the ban on teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in schools to the eighth grade. There is little doubt that DeSantis, who seems to be days away from announcing a run for president, would sign the measure into law, adding to his extensive anti-LGBTQ+ track record. Notably, the ban has already been extended by the Florida Board of Education through the 12th grade, a decision dubbed by critics as “don’t say gay until graduation.”
However, the measure does more than just codify the existing restriction by making it state law; it also protects the jobs of educators who refuse to use any pronouns other than those on a person’s birth certificate when referring to their pupils or coworkers.
REPUBLICAN ATTACK ON LGBTQ+ RIGHTS
The Republican Party has advocated for this law, saying it protects people by using “common sense.” A Republican sponsor of multiple anti-LGBTQ+ initiatives this year, Senator Clay Yarborough, denied that his legislation would have a negative impact on LGBTQ+ youth.
The Senate also enacted a measure mandating gender-specific stalls (with an alternative unisex stall) and forcing all people to use the stall according to their biological gender. A measure that would extend these regulations to private commercial property was also passed by the House. The Senate, however, enacted a watered-down version that limits the tax’s application to public spaces including parks, jails, and schools. On Wednesday, the House finally voted to adopt the Senate’s plans, 80 to 36.
Republican sponsor Sen. Erin Grall made it clear that the law affects transgender persons even after they have completed their transition with gender-affirming surgery. Individuals would only face criminal charges if they refused to leave after being requested to do so by facility security or authorities, and the bill would ultimately leave law enforcement to those in charge of the institution. Concern was voiced by LGBTQ+ groups over the number of anti-LGBTQ measures coming out of Florida, which appear to be advancing DeSantis’ presidential ambitions.