Last Minute Bills Threatens Jail Time for Doctors for Protecting Trans Youth
“This is the most overtly anti-LGBTQ agenda from the Florida legislature in recent memory,” said Jon Harris Maurer, Equality Florida’s Public Policy Director. “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.”
Last-minute bills attacking transgender youth represent the most offensive and direct attack this session. Regarding the recently filed Transgender Youth Medical Care Ban bills, Gina Duncan, Equality Florida’s Director of Transgender Equality, 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. Medical professionals, not politicians, should decide what medical care is in the best interest of a patient. Forcing a doctor to deny best practice medical care and deny support to transgender youth can be life-threatening.”
Some of the bills are repeat offenders that lawmakers file despite the known risks to the LGBTQ community. Anti-LGBTQ bills filed for the Florida 2020 Legislative Session include:
- House Bill 1365 (Rep. Anthony Sabatini) / Senate Bill 1864 (Sen. Dennis Baxley)makes providing best practice medical care to transgender youth a second degree felony.
- House Bill 305 (Rep. Bob Rommel) / Senate Bill 1126 (Sen. Joe Gruters)repeals employment protections that currently cover 13 million Floridians. The legislation threatens city and county nondiscrimination ordinances that ensure Floridians aren’t discriminated against in employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity. (Scheduled for House Workforce Development & Tourism Subcommittee on January 15, 2020.)
- House Bill 3 (Rep. Michael Grant) / Senate Bill 1336 (Sen. Keith Perry) repeals 22 existing local ordinances protecting vulnerable LGBTQ youth from so-called “conversion therapy” that seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity and bans any local governments from establishing conversion therapy bans in the future. (Scheduled for House Business & Professions Subcommittee on January 15, 2020.)
- House Bill 537 (Rep. Byron Donalds) / Senate Bill 778 (Sen. Keith Perry) as written rolls back critical protections for LGBTQ youth by enabling conversion therapy even where cities and counties have already instituted protections, as long as the therapy occurs in a home. Conversion therapy is no less fraudulent or dangerous because it is practiced in a home setting.
Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s LGBTQ community. Through education, grassroots organizing, coalition building, and lobbying, we are changing Florida so that no one suffers harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.