HB 991 – Defamation, False Light, and Unauthorized Publication of Name or Likenesses today was heard in the Civil Justice Subcommittee. House Bill 991 attempts to silence journalists and force the reveal of their sources by incentivizing lawsuits from public figures against them. This bill creates a hard rule that allegations of discrimination are defamation per se and it prohibits the use of truth as a defense if the discrimination is based on religious or “scientific” beliefs.
Representative Ashley V. Gantt (D- Miami) released the following statement:
“The first amendment is paramount to the fabric of the way of our lives as Americans. This bill is purposed to chill the marketplace of public opinion. I am staunchly against a state attempting to preempt longstanding and established federal law under. The heralding of this being a free state is becoming more of a satirical cliché as we continue to see bills, such as this, be introduced to stifle a core value and tenant of our democracy.”