Bill to Criminalize Gender Affirming Care Filed in Florida Senate

Bill to Criminalize Gender-Affirming Care Filed in Florida Senate

TALLAHASSEE, FL -- On the same day that the House saw the introduction of a Trans Ban Bill, Senator Clay Yarborough filed a sweeping bill regarding state intervention in transgender minors receiving gender affirming care (Senate Bill 254).  Among numerous issues, the bill includes courts exercising sweeping power to upend existing custody agreements, placing children with an unsupportive parent who has petitioned the court in an effort to block them from accessing gender affirming care; adds hurdles for adults accessing that care; and imposing felony penalties on parents or healthcare providers providing gender affirming care to minors (with an exception for those who are already receiving care prior to the effective date of the proposed bill). Initial legal analysis does not indicate, however, that SB 254 would give the state broad authority to unilaterally remove a child from a supportive home (outside of custody disputes), as we have seen in states like Texas. Equality Florida Director of Transgender Equality Nikole Parker provided the following statement in response:

This legislation is a gross assault on parental rights.  Republican leadership wants to shred custody determinations, upending families to fuel the DeSantis agenda. Parents have the right to make healthcare decisions for their children.This includes healthcare widely and safely used with children for decades. This bill is about extremist politics, not well-being. A supportive parent could lose custody of their child and face felony prosecution for seeking life-saving care. Healthcare providers would also be criminalized for practicing widely accepted medicine. Senator Yarborough should be ashamed, and every parent should be alarmed by this dangerous, authoritarian precedent.


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