Republican politicians somehow manage to file four anti-LGBT bills on the same day
Seven Republican lawmakers filed four anti-LGBT+ bills on the same day in Florida, just hours before the cut-off on submissions for the upcoming legislative session.
The bills were filed on Monday, January 13, by representatives Anthony Sabatini, Bob Rommel, Michael Grant and Byron Donalds, and state senators Dennis Baxley, Joe Gruters and Keith Perry.
According to NBC News, if all four bills were to pass, best practice gender-affirming healthcare for trans kids would be outlawed, any municipal or county ordinances protecting LGBT+ employees from discrimination would be removed and traumatising conversion therapy would become legal again in areas of Florida that have banned it.
Jon Harris Maurer, public policy director for LGBT+ rights organisation Equality Florida, said in a statement: “This is the most overtly anti-LGBTQ agenda from the Florida legislature in recent memory.
“It runs the gamut from openly hostile legislation that would arrest and imprison doctors for providing medically necessary care, to legislation that would carelessly erase critical local LGBTQ protections.”
The organisation’s director of transgender equality, Gina Duncan, said: “Transgender youth are some of the most at risk in our community. It is outrageous that conservative legislators would threaten their health and safety.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics set out its support for gender-affirmative trans healthcare in a 2018 policy statement, published in The Journal of Pediatrics.
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In response to similar bills in other states, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) said in a statement in November: “AACAP strongly opposes any efforts – legal, legislative, and otherwise – to block access to these recognised interventions.
“Blocking access to timely care has been shown to increase youths’ risk for suicidal ideation and other negative mental health outcomes.”
Democratic Florida representative Shevrin Jones, who came out as gay in 2018, described the anti-LGBT+ bills as “shameful”.
He continued: “Clearly they’ve decided that discrimination and hate are central to their election-year platform despite our state’s incredible diversity.
“Just as I’ve done since I was elected in 2012, I will continue to fight any legislation that marginalises or threatens any Floridian’s shot at a secure, safe, and bright quality of life.”