Florida Parents, Lawmakers Call Out Vile Transphobic Attacks by Florida Legislature


Florida Parents, Lawmakers Call Out Vile Transphobic Attacks by Florida Legislature

TALLAHASSEE, FL — Florida Republican lawmakers have launched their latest attack on transgender youth by introducing one of the cruelest bills filed in Tallahassee. The Transgender Youth Medical Care Ban Bill (HB 211) would criminalize doctors for providing life-saving care to transgender youth and wedges politicians between transgender youth, their parents, and their doctor. Transgender Floridians and their families spoke out fiercely against the vile attack, while Florida Democrats Representative Kristen Arrington (D-Kissimmee) and Senator Gary Farmer (D-Fort Lauderdale) introduced legislation to undo the harm perpetuated against transgender youth last session.

“Time and time again, conservative politicians refuse to learn about or listen to trans kids like mine, but they want to deny their medical care,” said Jaime Jara, mother of a transgender young person in Central Florida. “Recently, Governor Ron DeSantis made a statement to the public regarding masking, saying ‘if parents choose to mask some of these young children, that may not be the decision I make, but you know what? I trust them to know their circumstances better than the government.’ Therefore, I find it wholly ironic that this bill would deny my right as a parent to provide appropriate and affirming medical care to my daughter, Dempsey. Both her doctors and I know best about her health care needs and well-being.”

HB 211 by Representative Anthony Sabatini (R-Clermont) would make providing medically necessary health care to transgender minors a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison. It also comes on the heels of the legislature passing Florida’s first explicitly anti-LGBTQ legislation in nearly 25 years, the 2021 Transgender Youth Sports Ban. This dangerous new law kicks transgender youth off of their sports teams and blocks them from playing with their peers. HB 6065 by Representative Arrington and SB 212 by Senator Farmer would repeal that legislation.

“This hateful legislation was rushed through in the final hours of last session over the objections of transgender youth and their parents,” said Representative Arrington. “The Transgender Youth Sports Ban is discriminatory, unnecessary, and has no place in Florida law. We should be about creating opportunities and letting kids play.”

Florida joins over 20 other states with legislation that attempts to ban medical professionals from providing affirming care to transgender youth. Earlier this year, Republican Governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, vetoed a similar bill’s “vast government overreach” that “sends the wrong signal” to a vulnerable population. He urged his legislative colleagues to “rethink [their] engagement in every aspect of culture wars.” Leading national health organizations like the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have strongly opposed such legislation.

Florida’s spate of anti-transgender legislation comes at a highly dangerous time when attacks on the transgender community are increasing. Black transgender women are facing an epidemic of hate-motivated violence in our state. Videotaped attacks on transgender students went viral on social media within days of Governor DeSantis signing the Transgender Youth Sports Ban. The Trevor Project, the country’s leading organization for crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth, found that more than 50% of transgender and nonbinary youth seriously considered attempting suicide in 2020 in a recent study. These staggering numbers will only climb if LGBTQ youth are denied access to affirming care and are continually demonized by lawmakers.

“The Transgender Youth Medical Care Ban has nothing to do with the health and safety of children — the cruelty of this bill is by design,” said Nadine Smith, Equality Florida Executive Director. “It’s cut and paste language from right-wing political strategy groups like the Heritage Foundation that seek to put a target on the backs of transgender youth as an election strategy to mobilize far-right voters. It’s coming from the same anti-LGBTQ playbook GOP leaders used to create and pass last session’s hateful Transgender Youth Sports Ban. Leadership has fired their first shot across the bow of LGBTQ equality for the 2022 legislative session and we will fight to protect the health and safety of every child they target.”




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