Equality Florida's 2022 Legislative Slate

2022 Legislative Slate 

(As of January 18, 2021)

LGBTQ EQUALITY

OPPOSE HB 211: Defeating the Transgender Youth Medical Care Ban is a top priority for Equality Florida. This Care Ban is government overreach--wedging politicians between a young person, their parents, and their doctor.  It harms public health by imprisoning doctors for providing life-saving medical care. This is an outrageous attack on some of Florida’s most at-risk young people.  Sponsor is Rep. Sabatini. 

OPPOSE HB 747/SB 1820: No one should be denied critical medical care, but the Health Care Refusal bill (so-called “Medical Conscience” bill) would allow healthcare providers and insurers to deny a patient any sort of care on the basis of religious, moral, or ethical beliefs. The legislation also creates a license to discriminate by allowing for employment discrimination in healthcare.  It prioritizes the beliefs of healthcare providers above a patient’s well-being. Sponsors are Rep. Snyder and Sen. Baxley.   

SUPPORT HB 6065/SB 212: The Florida Legislature should Repeal the Transgender Youth Sports Ban enacted last session as a part of a coordinated, national attack on transgender youth. It denies kids the unique opportunities to grow and learn that sports provide.  We should be protecting transgender youth, not marginalizing them based on misunderstandings and who they are.  Sponsors are Rep. Arrington and Sen. Farmer. 

SUPPORT HB 6015/SB 168 and SB 462:  It’s past time to Repeal the Marriage Ban by deleting the outdated, patently unconstitutional statute that bans recognizing same-sex marriage and defines marriage as only between a man and a woman.  It devalues our hard-won marriage rights.  Sponsors are Rep. Rayner, Sen. Polsky, and Sen. Torres.

SUPPORT HB 249/SB 456: Everyone’s gender identity should be respected, and the Gender Marker Update would allow for driver's license or ID cards to provide for male, female, or nonbinary gender designation. Sponsors are Rep. Arrington and Sen. Torres. 

SUPPORT SB 1870: There should be No State-Funded Conversion Therapy in Florida because this practice is fraudulent, dangerous, and inflicts immeasurable harm on its victims. Minors are especially vulnerable, as it is proven to lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, self-harm, and suicide. This legislation would educate Floridians on the dangers of conversion therapy and ensure that state dollars are not supporting this widely debunked and harmful process.  Sponsor is Sen. Jones.

 

 

EDUCATION AND SCHOOLS

Supporting learning environments that value free thought, accurate information, and open communication are critical to the success we want for all Floridians, including our LGBTQ youth.  We know that people are coming out at increasingly younger ages, and school is often one of the first places people come out.  Safe and affirming schools are a key component of realizing full equality in Florida.  

OPPOSE HB 1557/SB 1834: Our community won’t go back in the closet and we won’t be erased, but the Don’t Say Gay (so-called “Parents Rights in Education”) bill would ban discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grades.  The bill’s vague language appears to be designed to attack support systems in schools for LGBTQ youth to be themselves.  It would also put those support systems in the hands of the same officials who just weeks ago deleted anti-bullying resources meant to help prevent LGBTQ suicide.  Sponsors are Rep. Harding and Sen. Baxley. 

OPPOSE HB 7/SB 148: Culture war Republicans are pushing the “Stop WOKE Act” in an effort to tear Floridians apart for political gain.  The legislature should be addressing the issues of everyday Floridians, not censoring workplaces and schools from teaching honest LGBTQ history, Black history, the root causes of injustice and discrimination, and more.  Sponsors are Rep. Avila and Sen. Diaz. 

OPPOSE HB 57/SB 242: You cannot fix what you will not face.  “Banning Discussion of Race and Sex Discrimination” effectively prohibits state and local agencies, including schools, from requiring trainings or programs that discuss systemic racism or sexism, unconscious bias, or race or sex stereotyping.  It is part of a far-right campaign to stoke fears about diversity and anti-racism training. Sponsors are Rep. Fine and Sen. Gruters.

OPPOSE HB 35/SJR 244: The Partisan Elections for School Board Members bill seeks to make Florida school board elections partisan.  School Boards have been nonpartisan since 1998. Now they are under fire, targeted by extremists for putting children’s needs and safety first.  School Boards should be about student success – not partisan battlefields. Sponsors are Rep. Roach and Sen. Gruters. 

SUPPORT HB 1409/SB 1936: This legislation would require state-funded schools to teach age-appropriate Comprehensive, Accurate Sex Education. This curriculum would include scientifically accurate information about human development, anatomy, and reproductive health, as well as information about contraception, childbirth, and STIs, including HIV. The bill also repeals the current requirement to promote abstinence as the expected standard and the benefits of monogamous heterosexual marriage. Sponsors are Rep. Eskamani and Sen. Farmer. 

OPPOSE HB 1305/SB 1842: Restricting Access to Sex Ed creates barriers for young people to access necessary education to make responsible decisions about their sexual health at an important point in their lives. We should instead be teaching them accurate, scientifically sound information about safety, relationships, consequences, and their own bodies.  Stigmatizing sex education does the opposite of keeping kids safe. Sponsors are Rep. Borrero and Sen. Baxley. 

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE & PROTECTING DEMOCRACY

Equality Florida’s theory of change rests on the notion that changing hearts and minds can change laws, but that only works in a functioning democracy.  Thus, we work to ensure a free democratic process that treats people fairly. 

OPPOSE SB 280/HB 403 and SB 620/HB 569: A package of bills threatens a wide swath of new local ordinances, including pro-LGBTQ ordinances by undermining local governance and decision-making.  We know that cities and counties have led the way in enacting LGBTQ protections, but the Preemption Package makes it more difficult to adopt, modify, or defend new local policies. It would let businesses sue local governments and would let anyone put local protections on hold just by filing a challenge.  Sponsors are Sen. Hutson, Rep. McClure, and Rep. Giallombardo. 

SUPPORT HB 111/SB 308: The Hate Crimes Law Expansion would amend existing hate crimes law so that crimes of prejudice based on gender or gender identity are also considered hate crimes.  Transgender women of color are disproportionately the victims of hate motivated violence. They deserve the full protection of law.  Sponsors are Rep. Geller and Sen. Berman.

SUPPORT HB 883/SB 1208: The Victims of Hate Crimes bill updates the current Florida hate crime laws to allow government, public and private organizations to be classified as victims of misdeeds motivated by race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age or disability. The bill was drafted following the vandalism of a Delray Beach intersection dedicated to honor those murdered at the 2015 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando. Sponsors are Rep. Slosberg-King and Sen. Polsky.

SUPPORT HB 813/SB 1074: Florida adopted laws criminalizing HIV at the height of the epidemic, and HIV Modernization would bring those outdated HIV laws into alignment with decades of advances in HIV prevention and treatment science.  Laws criminalizing living with HIV discourage testing, increase stigma, and contribute to the spread of HIV.  HIV should be treated like other STDs/STIs under law.  Sponsors are Rep. Felicia Robinson and Sen. Pizzo.

SUPPORT HB 205/SB 374: The “panic defense” shifts blame onto LGBTQ people for crimes committed against them. Eliminating the Gay and Trans Panic Legal Defense would ensure that assailants cannot escape liability for harming or killing an LGBTQ person because of a bogus fear about sexual orientation or gender identity.  Such violence is inexcusable. Florida should join the sixteen states that have already banned the panic defense. Sponsors are Rep. Carlos Smith and Sen. Book. 

 

HEALTH & REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM

Advocating for reproductive freedom is crucial to our fight for LGBTQ equality. It includes ensuring access to safe and legal abortion and supporting access to basic healthcare. That is why we are proud to fight shoulder to shoulder with partners at Planned Parenthood, the Florida Latina Advocacy Network, Florida NOW, and many others to defend and advance access to reproductive health services.

SUPPORT HB 1221/SB 1636: The PrEP & PEP Access bill reduces barriers to accessing medication that is critical to preventing HIV transmission and facilitates insurance coverage.  The legislation allows people to take personal responsibility for their health, thereby improving public health and moving Florida toward ending the HIV epidemic. Sponsors are Rep. Rayner and Sen. Cruz.

OPPOSE HB 5/SB 146: The decision to carry a pregnancy should not be made by politicians in Tallahassee. The 15-Week Abortion Ban strips away the fundamental right to make personal decisions about one's own pregnancy and is a direct assault on the protections of Roe v. Wade.  Abortion bans are not acceptable; this one is especially extreme with no exception for rape or incest. Sponsors are Rep. Grall and Sen. Stargel.

SUPPORT HB 709/SB 1036: Comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including access to abortion, is a fundamental to personal health, privacy, and equality. The Reproductive Healthcare Protection Act guarantees a person’s right to access such care and prohibits denying a citizen’s exercise of their fundamental privacy rights with respect to personal reproductive health decisions. Sponsors are Rep. Diamond and Sen. Berman.

SUPPORT HB 373/SB 1742: The Health Care Transparency Act requires hospitals and health care institutions that refuse to provide care for any nonmedical reasons to disclose that to patients in advance and to inform the Department of Health. This empowers patients to make better decisions about where to seek health care, free from judgment and discrimination. Sponsors are Rep. Hinson and Sen. Torres.

OPPOSE HB 167: The Texas-Style Six-Week Abortion Ban is an unconstitutional attempt to oppose safe and legal abortion by imposing restrictions on access to abortion before many even know that they are pregnant. Sponsor is Rep. Barnaby.

 

GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION

Gun violence prevention is a key part of our work toward LGBTQ equality.  The Pulse Nightclub massacre was a devastating reminder of how lethal discrimination against our community can be, and gun violence is a civil rights issue disproportionately impacting marginalized communities, particularly transgender women of color. Alongside allies like Prevent Gun Violence Florida, we are advocating for policies to keep our families safe.

SUPPORT HB 199/SB 214: Bans on Military-style Assault Weapons and Large Capacity Magazines are critical policy reforms. There is no legitimate reason for private citizens to have the military-style assault weapons used by the shooters at Pulse in Orlando, the music festival in Las Vegas, and at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. These weapons of war do not belong in civilian hands. Sponsors are Rep. Carlos Smith and Sen. Farmer. 

SUPPORT HB 181/SB 334 and SB 204: These bills Expand Background Checks for firearms and ammunition in the interest of public safety.  In fact, 83% of gun owners support expanded background checks on sales of all firearms, including 72% of all NRA members.  Yet, Florida’s legislative leaders continue to fail to take action on these common sense policies.  Sponsors are Rep. Daley, Sen. Polsky, and Sen. Farmer. 

SUPPORT HB 6049/SB 496 : The Preemption of Firearms and Ammunition would repeal provisions that bar local governments closest to the people from making policy about firearm and ammunition safety, and leave those decisions exclusively to the state Legislature. Sponsors are Rep. Daley and Sen. Taddeo.

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