Your Final Resistance Report for 2024: We’re Turning The Tide

Florida’s 60-Day Legislative Session has officially come to an end — and together, we’ve claimed numerous victories to achieve the impossible! 

This year, Republicans filed 22 of the most extreme, anti-LGBTQ bills our state’s ever seen — including bills attacking the existence of transgender people, expanding Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” policies into the workplace, banning all abortions with no exception for rape or incest, banning pride flags and symbols, and much more.

These bills had tremendous momentum with both Governor DeSantis and the Speaker of the Florida House behind them. But even when the odds were against us, our commitment has always been to fight every fight, show up in every room they’re debating our rights, and always outnumber the opposition. And that’s exactly what we did!

By making our voices heard, we stopped or neutralized 21 of the 22 bills with our intense, collective opposition! And the one bill that did pass, Stop WOKE Teacher Training (HB 1291), is very likely unconstitutional. We even passed the FIRST pro-LGBTQ bill in recent history, PEP Access (HB 159)

Incredibly hard work went into accomplishing this major win for our community. It took thousands of people, like you, joining us by contacting lawmakers, showing up to every committee hearing, and being in the Florida Capitol every single day. I hope you take every chance to celebrate this unbelievable achievement because we couldn’t have done this without YOU, friend!

The dramatic shift we created during the 2024 legislative session is about something much bigger than the bad bills we stopped. We’re exposing and tearing apart the DeSantis culture war agenda of censorship and government control. And we’re reminding the legislature that it is a co-equal branch of government and doesn’t need to rubber-stamp DeSantis’s failed extreme agenda.

The tide is turning in the legislature, but it’s also turning across our state. Voters are tired of these manufactured moral panics cooked up to rile extremists. They deserve lawmakers who prioritize the real needs of the hardworking people they were elected to represent. They’re sick of the pointless cruelty, and they’re showing up in legislative committees, school board meetings, and at the ballot box to reject and repudiate these phony, politically-driven crises. And that’s why voters nationally rejected DeSantis so swiftly – they saw through his contrived culture wars and realized how much damage DeSantis has caused in Florida.

And it’s not just the voters that are rejecting DeSantis’s agenda, the courts are too. Some of his major laws from last session, including Stop WOKE and the Drag Ban have all suffered major losses in the courts. 

DeSantis and his allies are not only losing legal battles in the courts, they’re losing in the court of public opinion. And that’s the power of our collective opposition at work. 

As we look back on the last 60 days, we want to highlight all the ways that you helped us fight back and apply the public pressure needed to stop or neutralize these bad bills. For 9 weeks, you joined us in Tallahassee during our Pride at the Capitol program and your efforts made this victory possible. 

You showed up in committee hearings, you attended rallies, and those who couldn’t make it to Tallahassee sent messages to lawmakers and shared about our fight online helping us make our voices heard. 

Now, we're going to take you through exactly how we were able to claim so many victories this legislative session to protect the freedom and dignity of all Floridians while passing pro-LGBTQ legislation for the first time in recent history.

We were able to stop or neutralize all the bad bills below by speaking and negotiating directly with lawmakers, testifying in committee hearings, organizing rallies, sending advocacy messages, and sharing our fight across social media. And you were an instrumental part in all of that! 

The Transgender Erasure Bill (HB 1639) -- STOPPED

Sponsors: Reps. Doug Bankson and Dean Black

  • What it was supposed to do: The Trans Erasure Bill was a sweeping new assault on the rights and dignity of transgender Floridians that sought to further disenfranchise the community, create costly new barriers to accessing lifesaving care, and increase Floridians' insurance premiums, LGBTQ or not. The bill required all health insurance plans in the state to cover the widely debunked, fraudulent and dangerous practice of “conversion therapy”, specifically for gender identity. Additionally, it required that government driver's license and ID card applications collect information on applicants’ sex assigned at birth rather than their gender.
  • What happened: The Trans Erasure Bill passed the full House of Representatives, but Senate President Kathleen Passidomo announced DURING the Let Us Live March that the Senate would not take up the bill, effectively killing the bill for the 2024 legislative session. 

Don’t Say Gay or Trans at Work (HB 599/SB 1382) -- STOPPED

Sponsors: Rep. Ryan Chamberlin and Sen. Jonathan Martin

  • What it was supposed to do: Don’t Say Gay or Trans at Work aimed to expand provisions of the  Don’t Say Gay or Trans law into public and private workplaces and nonprofits. It had sought to extend political control and censorship, prohibiting government employees or contractors from being required to respect an individual's preferred pronouns if they did not align with the individual's sex assigned at birth. Furthermore, it barred them from sharing their own preferred pronouns if these did not align with their sex assigned at birth, significantly impacting transgender employees' ability to express their identities. Additionally, the bill aimed to restrict LGBTQ+ nonprofits and education by banning tax-exempt nonprofits or employers receiving state funds from conducting any "activities'' or training related to sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression as a condition of employment. It also introduced protections for so-called "biology-based beliefs," essentially providing a legal shield for discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals. This posed severe consequences for LGBTQ+ organizations and advocacy groups in Florida, potentially forcing them to cease operations or significantly alter their missions.
  • What happened: These bills faced so much opposition and potential legal challenges that they never even made it into committee hearings. Both the House and Senate versions were never fully considered and therefore didn’t pass in any form. 

The Preemption of Employment Protections Bill (HB 433/SB 1492) -- NEUTRALIZED

Sponsors:  Rep. Tiffany Esposito and Sen. Jay Trumbull

  • What it was supposed to do: The Preemption of Employment Protections Bill threatened existing and future local employment nondiscrimination protections. It would have repealed or banned local governments from adopting nondiscrimination policies on "conditions of employment," which already protect 60% of Floridians. This is legislative interference with local control and a dramatic roll back of local priorities that have been in place with broad support from the public and businesses for years. 
  • What happened: Ultimately, a significantly narrowed version of this bill passed out of both the House and Senate but it was amended to remove broad provisions related to ”wage or employment benefits” eliminating any direct threats to the LGBTQ non-discrimination protections. 

Pride Flag Ban Bill (HB 901/SB 1120) -- STOPPED

Sponsors: Rep. David Borrero, Rep. Randy Fine, and Sen. Jonathan Martin 

  • What it was supposed to do: Flags have historically been used to connect communities as an expression of free speech. The Pride Flag Ban Bill would have banned public buildings from raising or displaying Pride Flags or any flag that represents a “political viewpoint”. This is one more part of the Desantis agenda of censorship. Born largely from far-right activists protesting LGBTQ pride flags on government buildings, it attacked visibility in public spaces and classrooms for all minority groups.
  • What happened: Though it passed through a House committee, together, we effectively defeated the bill during a dramatic Senate committee hearing where the proposal faced intense public opposition which postponed the bill from further consideration in the upper chamber. Our victory stalled the House version from being able to move forward, killing the bill altogether.

“Criminalizing Sex Ed” Bill (HB 1135/SB 1238) -- STOPPED

Sponsors: Rep. Taylor Yarkosky, Rep. Doug Bankson, and Sen. Jonathan Martin

  • What it was supposed to do: Child sexual abuse is real and devastating. As originally filed, the sweeping “Criminalizing Sex Ed” bill confused what ‘grooming’ actually is and trivialized its seriousness. It threatened to restrict information crucial to preventing STDs and unwanted pregnancy for minors and threatened to deny them access to LGBTQ content. It used broad, vague language and a penalty of up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine to censor a wide range of content in the absence of parental approval. 
  • What happened: Equality Florida worked directly with the bill sponsors, other lawmakers, and partner organizations to identify and address the primary harms of this legislation. Representative Yarkosky successfully introduced an amendment that remedied our concerns. With this amendment, the House bill no longer criminalized “any act of medical diagnosis or treatment or to an educational conversation by a parent, caregiver, counselor, or educator that is intended for the purpose of sexual education.”  While it still used the term “grooming” – which has been improperly associated with the LGBTQ community by right-wing extremists – the bill only criminalized conduct where there is lewd or lascivious intent. This amendment neutralized the serious threat of this legislation. Ultimately, the bill did not end up passing either chamber. 

The “Stop WOKE Teacher Training” Bill (SB 1372/HB 1291) -- PASSED

Sponsors: Sen. Blaise Ingoglia and Rep. John Snyder

  • What it was supposed to do: These bills expand state censorship of viewpoints opposed by modern conservatives on racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege to educator preparation programs or courses. They built on existing harms created by the so-called Stop W.O.K.E. Act, currently blocked by federal courts, while further restricting the ability of educators to lead 21st century classrooms with honest and accurate discussions that reckon with our past to create a better future for our students.
  • What happened: Unfortunately, the House version of this bill passed both the full House and Senate, but like the so-called ‘Stop WOKE’ law this bill seeks to expand, it will likely face legal challenges as courts have already declared this type of censorship as an unconstitutional attack on our First Amendment freedoms. 

The Juvenile Justice Package (HB 1425/SB 1352) -- NEUTRALIZED

Sponsors: Rep. Taylor Yarkosky and Sen. Jennifer Bradley

  • What it was supposed to doAmong various harm reduction reforms, the Juvenile Justice Package risked inferior treatment for transgender youth, who would be denied access to programming, services, interventions, and facilities that affirm their gender identities, and would, instead, be classified, under this bill, according to their sex assigned at birth, potentially suffering worse outcomes as a result.
  • What happened: The threats in this bill were effectively neutralized to address the concerns of the LGBTQ community.  Following pressure by Equality Florida and others, the House and Senate sponsors, along with Juvenile Justice Department leadership, have repeatedly provided assurance on the record that statutory changes will not result in any revised treatment for transgender youth, due to the state’s continuing adherence to controlling federal protections.

In addition to the bad bills that we stopped or neutralized this session, we also helped PASS a PRO-LGBTQ bill! 


🏆 The PEP Access Bill (HB 159/SB 1320) 🏆 -- PASSED

Sponsors: Rep. Gallop Franklin and Sen. Alexis Calatayud

  • What it doesThese bills facilitate greater access to medications that are critical to preventing HIV transmission by allowing pharmacists to dispense PEP under physician-developed protocols. The legislation recognizes the tremendous scientific advances in the fight to combat HIV and AIDS and allows people to take personal responsibility for their health, an important step towards ending Florida’s HIV epidemic.
  • What happened: The House version of this bill passed both the House and the Senate and is next headed to the Governor’s desk for final signature! 

Even though session is over, if you haven’t already, make sure you check out our RESIST merch – an easy way to send a message that we are all Floridians, and we aren’t going anywhere! We have pins, shirts, and flags that you can wear proudly to show your support. Click here to check out our online store! 

This session we proved beyond a doubt that our voices matter, our actions matter, and our movement matters. Although our work isn’t over, this is a time to celebrate our victories and reflect on the power of our collective action. 

Together, we resisted and we made a difference. 


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