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Get the latest coverage of the 2023 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee from our coverage partners and 90.7 WMFE.

Transgender bills on the move in Florida legislature

Photo: Florida House of Representatives.
Photo: Florida House of Representatives.

Two bills affecting Transgender people are moving through Florida’s legislative session, including a bill that would prevent transgender people from entering the bathroom of their identified sex.

House Bill 1521 was sponsored by Rep. Rachel Plakon, a republican of the Sanford area. The bill places gender requirements over bathrooms and changing facilities. It was reviewed by the Regulatory Reform & Economic Development Subcommittee. Opponents of the bill argued that its language targeted transgender people and would turn bathrooms into hostile environments. Plakon defended the bill stating it is meant to deter predators, and that it would be up to a police officer's discretion on whether or not to arrest an offender.

The bill was voted favorably and will receive a full House vote next week.

It'll be joined by House Bill 1421, which would prevent parents from having children receive gender-affirming therapies. It passed a Senate subcommittee meeting Monday moving it closer to a floor vote.

Many parents and children spoke out against the bill. Brevard Republican Representative Randy Fine, one of the bill's sponsors, pushed back, arguing the legislation is necessary to protect children in Florida.

“We put guard rails. That is the role of society. There are certain acceptable things that parents can do and in our view, in the majority view, this ain’t one of them,” Fine said. “It is not medical care to cut off perfectly good body parts and it is not medical care to give someone drugs that will make them sterile," Fine said. "Or affect their brain or affect their bone density. That is not medical care.”

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health has stated that therapies and surgeries are medically necessary to alleviate gender dysphoria, a condition that may leave some feeling their biological sex and gender identity are mismatched.

The House companion bill is scheduled for a hearing Monday and a full House vote next Tuesday.

Originally from South Florida, Joe Mario came to Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida where he graduated with degrees in Radio & Television Production, Film, and Psychology. He worked several beats and covered multimedia at The Villages Daily Sun but returned to the City Beautiful as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel where he covered crime, hurricanes, and viral news. Joe Mario has too many interests and not enough time but tries to focus on his love for strange stories in comic books and horror movies. When he's not writing he loves to run in his spare time.
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